In uncertain times, gold jewellery offers financial security – by Yumna Iftikhar (Globe and Mail – May 29, 2024)

As a child, Adiba Ahmed didn’t understand why her mother loved gold jewellery. But when her family came under financial stress and her mother sold the gold to keep them afloat, Ms. Ahmed realized that gold jewellery could be a reliable emergency fund.

Gifting gold jewellery on special occasions is a prominent tradition in many South Asian countries, including Bangladesh, from where Ms. Ahmed’s family moved to Canada. Other countries where gold gifting is popular include Pakistan and India.

According to a 2023 report by the World Gold Council, Indian households own approximately 25,000 tonnes of gold, or roughly 12 per cent of all the gold that’s been mined globally. Women in India often receive gold jewellery during weddings, births and festivals. According to the World Gold Council, roughly 50 per cent of India’s gold jewellery demand is at weddings.

These gold ornaments are a form of financial independence, says Satwinder Kaur Bains, director of the South Asian Studies Institute at the University of the Fraser Valley.

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