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Glittering Obsession: Exploring the Enduring Indian Demand for Gold

Gold holds significant cultural and economic importance in India, symbolizing wealth, status, and prosperity. Its demand has been consistently high over the years, and it remains a popular investment option, particularly during the wedding season and festivals.

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Let's explore the factors that drive India's enduring demand for gold.​


Gold has been an inseparable element of Indian culture and traditions for centuries, with its importance transcending across generations. Since ancient times, gold has been an essential component of religious and social ceremonies, weddings, and festivals, symbolizing prosperity, good fortune, and wealth. Historically, gold was also used as currency in India, and even today, it continues to be widely accepted as a form of payment in certain transactions.

In many rural areas of India, gold is still considered an ideal form of savings, with people investing in gold jewelry and coins as a means of securing their financial future. The enduring cultural and economic attachment to gold in India makes it an integral part of the country's identity and heritage.

gold used as accessories by indians
Gold has been a part of Indian culture, and it is deeply rooted in their identity


Despite the advent of numerous financial instruments and investment options, gold continues to be a favored investment avenue in India. As per the World Gold Council, India stands as the world's second-largest consumer of gold, with an estimated annual demand ranging between 700-800 tonnes. The demand for gold in India reaches its peak during the wedding season, which usually falls between October and December, as well as during festivals like Diwali, where it is considered auspicious to purchase and exchange gold.

The cultural and social significance of gold in India, coupled with its investment value, makes it an attractive option for individuals looking to secure their financial future or engage in short-term trading activities.​


1. Cultural Significance

One of the significant factors driving the demand for gold in India is its deep-rooted cultural significance. As mentioned earlier, gold has been an integral part of Indian culture and traditions for centuries, symbolizing prosperity, good fortune, and wealth. Gifting gold during auspicious occasions, such as weddings and festivals, is considered a sign of goodwill, respect, and affection. It is also believed to bring good luck and is often used in religious ceremonies and rituals.

The cultural value of gold in India has created a deep emotional attachment to it, making it an essential part of the social fabric and a tangible representation of one's wealth and status. This cultural significance plays a crucial role in the consistent and enduring demand for gold in India. ​​

2. Inflation Hedge

Another factor driving the demand for gold in India is its potential to act as an Inflation hedge. Given the volatile and uncertain nature of the global economy, many Indians view gold as a reliable investment option that can help safeguard their savings from the effects of inflation. Inflation erodes the purchasing power of the currency, and therefore, investors often seek alternative investment options that can provide a hedge against inflation.

Gold, with its limited supply and high demand, has historically demonstrated the potential to hold its value during times of economic uncertainty and inflation, making it an attractive investment option for many.

In addition, the ease of liquidity, transparency, and accessibility of gold investments in India makes it a preferred choice for individuals looking to diversify their investment portfolio or engage in short-term trading activities.

3. Jewelry

Apart from investment purposes, India has also emerged as one of the largest markets for gold jewelry globally, with traditional designs and craftsmanship attracting buyers worldwide. The intricate and exquisite designs of gold jewelry have been an integral part of Indian culture and traditions for centuries, and it continues to be a popular form of adornment for women and men alike.

The rich history and cultural significance associated with gold jewelry, coupled with the artistry and craftsmanship of Indian artisans, has made it a sought-after item in the global market. The rising disposable income of the middle class in India has also played a crucial role in the surge of demand for gold jewelry.

As individuals earn more, they tend to indulge in luxury items, including gold jewelry, as a symbol of their status and wealth. This trend has led to the growth of the gold jewelry market in India, further fueling the demand for gold in the country. ​

indians are fond of golden jewelries
Indians are fond of using golden jewelry.

4. Investment

In addition to gold jewelry, gold is also viewed as a lucrative investment option in India. Many individuals prefer to invest in gold coins and bars as a means of diversifying their investment portfolio, as it is a tangible asset that can potentially provide good returns. Owning physical gold in the form of coins and bars provides investors with a sense of security and control over their investment, as they can store it in a safe and accessible place. Moreover, the liquidity and ease of trade of gold coins and bars make it a preferred choice for investors engaged in short-term trading activities.

The convenience of buying and selling gold in India, coupled with the fact that gold prices tend to rise during times of economic uncertainty, has made it a popular investment option among Indians looking to hedge their savings against inflation and diversify their investment portfolio.


1. Import Duty

Despite being one of the largest consumers of gold in the world, India does not have significant gold reserves, and thus it relies on imports to meet its demand. This reliance on imported gold exposes India's economy to various global factors that can affect the price and supply of gold. To tackle this issue, the government has imposed high import duties on gold, which are periodically revised to ensure that the country's current account deficit remains under control.

However, these high import duties make gold more expensive for buyers, which can impact the demand for gold in the country. To further curb the demand for gold, the government has also introduced various schemes to encourage individuals to invest in financial instruments such as gold ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) and Sovereign Gold Bonds, which provide an alternative means of investing in gold without owning physical gold.

Despite these efforts, the demand for gold in India remains robust, demonstrating the enduring cultural and economic attachment to gold in the country.

2. Illegal Trade

The imposition of high import duties on gold has led to an increase in illegal gold smuggling in India. The high import duties make the legal import of gold more expensive, and as a result, smugglers seek to capitalize on the price differential by bringing in gold through illegal channels. This illegal trade not only undermines the legal gold industry but also poses several challenges for the government, including revenue loss, the proliferation of organized crime, and the risk of money laundering.

Additionally, illegal gold is often not of the same quality as legal gold and can contain impurities or be mixed with other metals, which can have adverse effects on the health of individuals who wear it. Despite efforts by the government to crack down on illegal gold smuggling, the trade continues to thrive, highlighting the complexities involved in regulating the gold industry in India. ​​


In conclusion, despite the challenges posed by the high import duties and illegal gold smuggling, the Indian demand for gold continues to remain strong. The cultural significance of gold in India, combined with its status as a safe-haven investment and a symbol of wealth and prosperity, ensures that it remains an integral part of the Indian economy and society.

The government needs to find a delicate balance between curbing imports to tackle the current account deficit and promoting the growth of the domestic gold industry to cater to the ever-growing demand for gold. In recent years, the government has taken several measures to boost the domestic gold industry, such as launching the Gold Monetization Scheme and Sovereign Gold Bonds. These initiatives have been successful in channeling the demand for gold into a more structured and regulated format. Nevertheless, the government needs to continue to monitor and evolve its policies to address the challenges facing the Indian gold industry.

Regardless of the policy measures, it is clear that gold will remain an enduring aspect of Indian culture and tradition, and its demand will continue to remain strong for generations to come.

If you're mesmerized by the idea of purchasing gold accessories or bars, you can check out this blog that will help you acquire one: BLOG #1: INTRO – What is Daman Games? What is Vip Daman? What is the difference between the two?