Sunday, June 23, 2013

Tradition of giving bride heirlooms keeping gold trade alive in Queensland


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"BIG fat Indian weddings'' are driving the State's gold trade.

The jewellery gifting tradition of the growing Indian population is boosting gold buying and selling outlets, despite a 10 per cent drop in the value of the precious metal over the last 12 months.

Michael Salib, owner of Cash for Gold Australia which is based at Clayfield in Brisbane, said Indian customers were good for business.

There was a 68 per cent jump in the number of permanent resident visas granted in Queensland to those from India from 2011/12 to 2012/13, bolstering the gold rush.

"It is not unusual for us to buy $40,000 worth of gold jewellery from an Indian person in one hit. From my experience, they keep jewellery for many years, for generations, as an investment and when they need a lump sum, say for a deposit for a house, they will come and see us,'' Mr Salib said. "Indians are very savvy and are experts in the trading of gold.''

In Indian culture, family members gift the bride with gold jewellery heirlooms, which act as insurance against hard times.

"The custom comes from the idea that gold is eternal and traditionally older people from India would prefer to gather gold than deal with banks or financial institutions,'' said Keshmi Dovecer, who is of Indian descent and lives in Cleveland, Queensland.

"In the lead up to my 'big fat Indian wedding', close members of my family gave me pieces of jewellery that were family heirlooms. Wedding guests from Indian culture would seek out good deals in jewellery from local buy and sell stores,'' Ms Dovecer said.

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