Gold Prices Nowadays: Why is Gold So Costly?
- 25 Aug
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The precious yellow metal – Gold” has always been of a tremendous appeal from both prestigious and a religious point of view. Being in possession of decent amounts of gold means you have made it in life. Having gold and flaunting it are sure-shot signs of being wealthy and prominent. Additionally, gold also has an auspicious value attached to it. Hence, we use gold in all the major poojas and on special occasions and festivals.
But this precious metal usually comes at an extremely high price. Recently, these prices have shot up even more on account of the pandemic. Even otherwise, over a period of say 5 to 10 years, one has only seen a healthy rise in the monetary value of gold. There are a variety of reasons and factors behind this.
Why is Gold So Costly?
If gold is precious and valuable, it automatically follows that it will not come cheap. As metals go, it is rare with unique properties. This makes it more valuable to own. But, the inherent properties of gold are not only what makes it so expensive to buy. The following different elements factor in too.
It is a Valuable Commodity:
We have already seen this property of gold. It is irreplaceable for certain occasions and in particular circumstances in our lives. Whether it is a wedding or an event, we love grabbing gold. When there is nothing to match or replace the properties of gold, it becomes singular and one of its kind.
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Its Extraction is Not Easy:
The science behind exploring our planet for gold, extracting it and making it market-ready is an expensive and complicated one. It follows that if a particular amount of money is going into making gold ready to be consumed, this amount of money will be reflected in its price. This is also a factor in why gold is so costly.
Emergency Situations Make Supply Difficult:
The COVID-19 pandemic saw all major countries and economies go into a shutdown. With very few options for transportation available and a lack of manpower, the extraction and supply of gold took a massive hit. This showed in its rates shooting up. The recent war in Ukraine also affected the supply of gold.
The Demand vs Supply Equation Matters:
In any economy, factors like production, supply and demand play a major role in the determination of the price of a product. Put too much gold into the economy where there are just a few takers for it; you will see its price go down significantly. The opposite is true where there is a healthy demand for gold.
Who Controls Gold Price?
When we talk about international prices and availability, the USA owns the largest reserves of gold. Thus, their gold policy as one of the strongest world economies influences the worldwide availability of gold. It also has a large bearing on gold prices worldwide. The United States of America is followed by Germany, Italy, France and Russia in terms of the supply of gold.
In India, however, it is a somewhat different story. There is gold that our government owns and keeps in reserve. Then there is gold that is available for mass consumption, buying and selling.
The policies of our government related to gold buying and selling change from time to time. It trades in gold through its chief financial institution – the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). But whenever our government either buys or sells gold, it affects to a great extent the price of gold available in our economy.
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There is another body, an institution, that has a significant role to play when determining the everyday prices of gold in the Indian economy. This institution is the Indian Bullion Jewellers’ Association (IBJA). This association is made up of some of the biggest bullion (gold) dealers in the country. Their trading and buying or selling of gold overall is what controls the gold prices in our economy on a daily basis. The members of the IBJA receive imported gold from banks who sell it to this association at a fee. This means that the gold we buy is actually costlier than the imported gold. Of course, gold is also indigenously made and found in some regions of our country.
Is Gold in Dubai Cheaper than in India?
Yes, this is true. Let’s take an example of gold prices per 10 gm in the year 2017. Its cost in Dubai was Rs. 25,524 per 10 gram. In India, during the same period, its monetary value stood at Rs. 29, 210. This was after including GST and import duty.
Dubai is well known for gold being commonly available there. So much so that you will actually find coffee served with gold flakes in Dubai! This is why people all over the world, and particularly Indians, buy gold when visiting Dubai.
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As of today, gold costs AED 1972 for every 10 gm. The currency used in Dubai is the Arab Emirates Dirham. It has 22 times more purchasing power when compared to the Indian rupee. So, the price of gold in INR is currently 43,384. This is around Rs 10,000 less than what gold costs here in India.
What is the New Gold Rule?
The New Gold Rule in India pertains to selling only hallmarked gold jewellery. This is irrespective of its carat level or its purity. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) announced this new rule in April this year, enforced from June 1, 2022.
Earlier, the BIS hallmark certification was needed for only 6 gold karat values – 14k, 18k, 20k, 22k, 23k and 24k. But under the new rules, even 19k and 21k karat gold needs to carry this hallmark certification. After June 1, no jeweller will be able to sell gold coins, ornaments, and other artefacts without this certification being present.
The earlier rule left a certain scope for the jewellers to avoid hallmarking and thereby pass off inferior-quality or totally fake gold as the real thing. The present rule hopes to lessen the chances of this happening in the future.
Can Fake Gold be Hallmarked?
Hallmarking is the process of certifying gold to be of an internationally acceptable standard of purity. In India, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) issues this certificate. It is the authority responsible for hallmarking gold.
Gold certified by hallmarking reassures the buyer and convinces the purchaser of its genuineness, purity and standard of fineness.
But is it possible to hallmark fake gold or gold that is substandard or adulterated? Unfortunately, this is true. It is actually quite a common practice in our country. You will find instances of gold of fewer karats (14k instead of 22 k, for e.g.) passed off as gold of a higher standard. This actually means that merely hallmarking gold coins and ornaments do not automatically guarantee their purity.
In the Indian economy, 'Dabba hallmarking' refers to hallmarking of fake gold, a dubious practice by itself. This is possible when the hallmarking is not done by BIS but by the local jeweller himself. It is quite easy for jewellers in India to buy a hallmarking machine and thereby certify and hallmark fake gold.
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Any of the AHCs that have received recognition from the BIS will test your jewellery. Following testing, the AHC will produce a report with accurate identifications as indicated on the jewellery. The AHC that performed the initial certification will need to reimburse the customer for their costs if it turns out that the jewellery has a lower purity level.
You can also present the report to your jeweller because they are in charge of ensuring the quality and purity of the jewellery. In such circumstances, the jeweller has to pay the customer compensation.
Buying gold jewellery is typically a high-value transaction, so take precautions to avoid being a victim of fraud.
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