India is the land of contradiction, there is joy amongst the poor living in what we would deem devastating standards and the amassed gold assets. Over 20% of the worlds mined gold is reported to be held in India and the majority is in private possession. It's considered to be auspicious, particularly in Hindu and Jain cultures. There is an ancient law-giver, Manu, who decreed that gold ornaments should be worn for important ceremonies and occasions. So families, like my partner Ravi's family, keep in their possession ancestral gold and wear it to events such as weddings.
It's projected there is likely to be over 15 million weddings each year over the next decade, more than half the population is under 25. Gifting gold is a traditional part of the marriage rituals in India, so weddings generate around 50 percent of the annual gold demand. Families start saving when they give birth to a girl, the 'Stridehan' or gift of gold to the bride gives her financial security when married.
In the country’s rural population, a deep affinity for gold goes hand in hand with practical considerations of the portability and security of jewellery as an investment. This, in part, explains how India’s appetite for gold defies market conditions: despite a 400 per cent rise in the rupee gold price* over the last decade, gold demand from Indian consumers continues to grow.
The change in India's demographics has changed, over 140 million have come out of poverty* in the last 10 years in India, the new generation are evolving the style and fashions in India, affluent Indian's want modern pieces that will also reflect their heritage & culture. I believe there is a new identity rising in India.
*World Gold Council