Gold, often referred to as ‘yellow metal’ in India, is not just a precious metal in the country; it’s a part of its cultural and economic fabric. From weddings to investments, gold has intertwined itself into the Indian psyche. This article will take you through a journey of gold’s performance over the decades in India, mirroring the country’s economic evolution and societal values
For centuries, India was known as the ‘Golden Bird’ due to its rich gold mines and trade. However, colonial rule and several economic policies depleted many of these resources. Yet, the cultural importance of gold persisted, with families passing it down as heirlooms and a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
After gaining independence in 1947, India faced economic challenges that led to the imposition of the Gold Control Act in 1968. This act aimed to curb the demand for gold, resulting in the illegal trading and smuggling of the metal. However, even during these challenging times, gold maintained its position as the preferred savings instrument in many households.
The 1991 economic liberalization marked a significant turning point. As the Indian economy opened up, gold prices began to be determined more by international rates. The removal of gold import restrictions also allowed official channels to cater to the substantial demand in the country.
The new millennium saw a surge in organized gold retailing with brands like Tanishq making their mark. With more transparency and choice, consumers started looking at gold not just as an investment but also as a fashion statement. Gold prices witnessed steady growth, touching new highs owing to global economic factors and robust domestic demand.
While physical gold continued to be in demand, the 2010s saw the emergence of digital gold and Gold Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). These financial instruments allowed investors to invest in gold without physically storing it
The global economic uncertainty triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic reaffirmed gold’s status as a safe-haven asset. In August 2020, gold prices in India touched an all-time high, crossing INR 56,000 per 10 grams. While prices moderated thereafter, the cultural and economic significance of gold in India remained intact.
In India, gold is not just an asset; it’s a legacy, a symbol of prosperity, and an integral part of various rituals and traditions. Its performance over the decades mirrors India’s journey from a newly independent nation grappling with economic challenges to a global powerhouse with a diversified investment landscape. As we look ahead, while new avenues of investments might come up, gold’s allure in India is likely to remain undiminished.