Muscat: Indian shoppers brought a windfall to jewellery shops as they went on a spending spree to buy Diwali gifts for their families.
A few days before Diwali the Indian festival of light, jewellery stores opened late to keep up with the crowd of shoppers. Gold ornaments such as earrings, pendants and bangles were snapped up despite the rising cost of the glittering metal. "Gold is currently expensive but it is a symbolic purchase during Diwali and we have to buy gifts for our wives, daughters and sisters. It is tradition," Kiran Menon, an insurance claim manager, told Times of Oman.
Gold, whose cost increased 70 per cent from December 2008 through June last year, is predicted to reach $2,000 an ounce next year, according to Deutsche Bank. The precious metal touched a record $1,921.15 an ounce in September 2011. Outlets like Damas and Joyalukkas received 40 per cent more customers during Diwali, than usual. Though most of them bought ornaments, there are those who preferred to buy gold coins. "Coins are better investments as they are much more in demand than ornaments. The coins we bought four years ago gave us a good return when we sold them last year," Jaya Venkat, a marketing executive at an advertisement company, said.
Diwali has boosted the sagging sales of gold as jewellery shops were struggling to sell anything substantial before the festival.
"It was good during Eid but sales dropped after that. The gold price is very steep at the moment and we only make a significant sale during festivals. Perhaps, we are going to get another windfall during Christmas," Yusuf Khan of Mohammed Sharif and Sons, told Times of Oman. During the last Eid Al Adha, jewellery shop owners say sales increased by up to 60 per cent as Muslims celebrate the occasion by buying gold ornaments to their families.