KARACHI: Gold prices increased by around Rs770 per 10 grams over the week as international bullion prices continued to fluctuate in the wake of economic crisis in Europe.
The precious yellow metal was valued at Rs32,142 per 10 grams on Monday. It declined to Rs31,990 on Thursday as international markets also eased. However, a fresh rise in the world market on Friday to $1,215 an ounce steered the local market, pushing up the precious metal’s price by Rs924 per 10 grams. Later, gold prices remained stable as the trading week closed on Saturday. However, it remained at its peak of Rs32,914 per 10 grams and Rs38,400 per tola (11.6 grams), in sync with the international market.
As prices continue to fluctuate, gold dealers and designers are increasingly moving towards artificial jewellery. According to the President of Small Traders Association of Artificial Jewellery, Saba Saleem, almost 90 per cent of the jewellery makers have either switched completely to artificial jewelry or have started a secondary business. He said that the new trend in Pakistan is to wear artificial jewellery that looks exactly like real gold. “Designs, colour and even the weight are replicated to make it appear like the real thing,” he said.
Saleem said the reason behind such authentic-looking accessories was that they were being designed by experts who had earned their bread designing gold articles, and are now compelled to move only because of a lack of interest of consumers in gold. Saleem also said that another alternative is wearing goldplated jewellery which is sold at the rate of Rs20 per gram. “This is of course very cheap compared to gold jewellery which costs thousands of rupees,” he said.
President of All Sindh Jewellers Association, Haroon Rashid Chand, said that the precious metal had lost its charm both among consumers and investors. He said that after remaining under-cost for some time, gold had rallied sharply only to keep up with foreign market prices. “Local investors have moved on to other investment options such as stocks and savings certificates,” he added.