Orders have started coming in for gold jewellery ahead of the wedding and festive season as prices of gold have fallen 8.59% to Rs 51,000 per 10 in September from the high of Rs 56,000 per 10 gm in August, even as the ongoing Pitrupaksh and the upcoming Adhik Maas are considered inauspicious in Hindu calendar.
But jewellers are facing problems in executing big orders due to the absence of artisans. Now, they are taking 20-25 days to deliver the orders, up from about 10 days earlier.
“Despite Pitrupaksh and Adhik Maas, customers are still visiting stores due to the reduced gold prices. They prefer to book their jewellery in advance and will pick it up in the auspicious times.” said Vaibhav Saraf, director, Aisshpra Gems & Jewels.
Adhik Maas is the extra month of the Hindu lunar calendar. It is added to the lunar calendar once in three years to align the lunar and solar calendars. Pitrupaksh started on September 1 and will continue till September 17 while Adhik Maas will last from September 18 to October 16 and will be followed by Navratri, when people start buying gold and other precious things.
“Taking orders for big jewellery is tough at this point of time – orders are taking over 20-25 days to deliver,” said Saraf. “We are informing our customers in advance about the delivery timing so that it doesn’t hamper their plans. Demand for jewellery is good as compared to the lockdown time. Stores are opening six days a week which has been beneficial for customers to plan their jewellery buying.”
Prithviraj Kothari, president, India Bullion & Jewellers Association said the main problem the trade is facing is absence of karigars or artisans. “Earlier they had said that they would join work after Ganesh Chaturthi. Now they are saying that they will join after Durga Puja,” he said.
The karigars mostly come from West Bengal.
Increasing coronavirus cases in the country remain a matter of concern but customers with genuine need are either coming to the stores with enough precautions or buying jewellery virtually, said Ishu Datwani, founder, Anmol Jewellers.
The decline in prices is also driving customers to book gold for the upcoming wedding and festive season.
“Prices have not only corrected but they have also been stable in the last few days, which is a very good sign,” said Datwani. “Sometimes when prices keep falling, it works against the psyche of the consumer because he then expects the price to keep falling further. So it is good that the price is stable and it is not reducing further. We also feel that the price may slowly and steadily start going up.”