God's own country, Kerala, is a big Gold consumer and key-driver to India's major Gold purchase-story of 800 tonnes annually. The land of Lord Padmanabhswamy and bridal-jewellery paradise looks upon gold as a safe investment that helps protect savings from inflation. Kerala's Gold-tryst is as old as the reigns of Chola and Pandya kings. In fact, a prominent city in Kerala, took a giant-leap in building the local industry (more on that, later). Be it festive season or wedding season, Gold is, in perennial demand.
Sify.com updates the daily gold rats for Kerala and key cities twice through the day to help readers save money. The Today gold rates in Kerala collates market information from leading jewellers and bullion traders from the state. Sify also features insights and opinions from prominent bullion and jewellery traders to help investors and gold-jewellery enthusiasts alike. Do bookmark this page to get the latest updates on rates and jewellery trends. Rates mentioned on this page are exclusive of GST and making charges.
Kerala & Gold: Intro to city gold connection
Gold is culture in Kerala, and both brides and deities love the yellow-metal. For instance, the celebrations of Thrissur-Pooram, (a sight to behold) involves decking up temple elephants with elaborate golden-saddles. Speak of elephants and deities, the Lord Padmanabhswamy Temple, in Thiruvananthapuram (translates to City of Lord Anantha) built on traditional Chera and Dravidian architectural sensibilities, has a treasure trove of gold valued at a few trillions – Rs 1 lakh crores has been estimated so far.
The Travancore Raja and his family have been accumulating Gold for a number of centuries and the vaults, divided into six (two more reported recently) are estimated to contain tons of gold - a gold Maha-Vishnu idol that stands 3.5 feet tall, an 18 feet long chain, a gold sheaf weighing half a ton (500 kilos) and 800 kilos of medieval coins. Contents within Vault B and two others are yet to be revealed.
Kerala's Love for Gold
The love among malayalees for gold is epic. A recent National Sample Survey Office survey finds an average Malayali spend almost four-five times more than their nearest counterparts from other states in India on gold. Kerala brides also wear the most gold at weddings - on an average, sporting 40 sovereigns of gold. A significant percentage of the gold jewellery that Kochi buys - some estimates have pegged it at 70% - is made at Thrissur, which around 75 kms away.
The story of Kerala’s gold and jewellery business took shape sometime in the era of 60s. Until then, Thrissur's tryst with gold-trade was well-established although an unofficial trade route with the Arabs existed until 16th century. The port town of Kodungallur saw swift exchange of gold for spices. The deal was spicy for the world and gold for Keralites. Thrissur, India’s Gold Capital and Kerala’s epicentre of jewellery production saw peak volumes of 800 kilos of jewellery for a few years. As of 2020, the number has dwindled but for entrepreneurs from Thrissur and the over 3,000 manufacturing units employing close to 45,000 artisans the Gold market can recover anytime.
Thrissur is also the town where Kerala's biggest gold jewellers - TS Kalyanaraman of Kalyan Jewellers, Joy Alukkas of Joyalukkas and MA Yusuff Ali (UAE’s third richest billionaire) of Lulu Group - also hail from this city. Thrissur accounts for 70 percent production of gold jewellery in the state. The city is known for Gold as well as Diamond polishing business (in recent times businesses have moved to Ahmedabad, Surat and Mumbai owing to difficulties).
Coming to Kerala, approximately 6,000 jewellery shops with a collective demand of 100 tonnes per annum operate here. Each jeweller may have a rich tale to share, however, not all look as fascinating as that of Koduvally, a small village, nearly 20 miles off Kozhihode. The village’s 1-kilometer long road dotted by jewellers on each side operates Kerala’s busiest ornament shopping centre. Latest news reports, however, cite most of the gold arriving via the black-market which has ruffled a few feathers.
How are 24 Karat Gold rates calculated across Kerala:
The state has five reputed associations including the All Kerala Gold and Silver Merchants Association that have a say in the daily gold rates. Also, gold rates in Kerala as decided by local jewellers is heavily influenced on the prescriptive gold rates proposed by The Indian Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA) – the over 100-year-old gold jewellery Association. The IBJA calculates daily rates, twice every day - once in the morning and once in the evening - for gold of 999, 995 and 916 purity. Even the Indian government follows IBJA's gold price to arrive at the rates of the Sovereign Gold Bonds that they issue. GST at 3% is then added to the calculation (an additional 5% GST has to be paid on making charges). The cost of bullion remains more or less constant across the country with any minor difference attributed to transportation and margins added by refiners.
Rates are fixed twice and they could fluctuate owing to several factors including supply-demand and currency fluctuations. Gold rates in Kerala trade in a similar fashion as international gold markets driven by analysis and economic activities. Do bookmark this page and subscribe to Sify Finance to understand the latest market news and its impact on Gold rates in Kerala.
What causes 22 Karat gold rates to go up or down:
The rates for 22 karat/carat gold in the form of ornaments, coins or pendants is based on rates arrived by leading jewellers and associations. Associations offer a prescriptive rate, but the prevailing rate at the jeweller can always fluctuate. It is quite possible of jewellers, including the leading ones to showcase a unique gold rate than the association one. Also, many leading jewellers have ways to determine the gold rate at any point of the day.
The reason for difference is simple - the base rate of gold may remain approximately similar, but making charge, wastage, melting charges, and refiner margins constantly differs. Changes in impurities added (Platinum, Palladium, Silver, Nickel, Aluminium, Iron) costs on transportation, logistics, security expenses, changes in business operations, and operating margins are responsible for the Rs 40-50 difference per gram among leading jewellers in Kerala.
General Advice for buying Gold Jewellery:
Only 30% of the gold sold in India is hallmarked! As experts have noted there are shocking differences in purity and the average under-caratage is anywhere from 10-15%! Hallmarking of gold in Kerala is currently done at over 60 BIS hallmarking centres. If you are keen on a safe and pure transaction insist on a bill and a hallmarked jewellery.
Popular Gold Investment Avenues:
The most-literate state of India understands the true value of Gold and hence investors allocate regular money towards gold-backed instruments. Also, the state has a higher spending capacity. In fact, per capita income for 2017 was 60% higher than India's average and that is the reason for the rising investment in Gold. Kerala is also the state with the maximum flow of remittances which signals that investors may park their money into various instruments including Gold. For those keen to know, the state’s remittance has grown to Rs 1.15 lakh crores or $ 20 billion in 2020 from nearly Rs Rs 50,000 in 2012.
When it comes to Gold, the popular investment avenues in Kerala are:
1. Sovereign Gold Bonds
3. Bars and Coins
5. International Gold Feeder Funds
6. Equity shares of popular businesses related to Gold trade
Popular Jewellery Ornaments in Kerala:
The Gold demand in Kerala is driven majorly by bridal collection. Demand is followed by festive spending and investment spending. The signature style jewellery in Kerala involves artistic design elements embossed with depictions of deities. Floral motifs such as leaves, figurines, bells, trees, flowers, coins, are quite common. Some of the jewellery designs can relate with temples and dynasties that are as old as the Chola and Pandya empires.
Manga Mala necklace, Mulla Motu Necklace, PUlinakham mala, Karimani mala, lakshmi mala, Palakka mala, Nagapada Thali, Pathakam, Poothali are the flavours when it comes to necklaces.
According to a recent survey by the World Gold Council, bangles and chains are the most sought after and contribute between 30%-40% of the demand. Necklaces contribute between 15-20% and rings - ear rings and finger rings - between 5-15%. The gold jewellery is of the 22k variety. The biggest driver of gold jewellery demand in Chennai remains bridal jewellery (50-55%). Daily wear jewellery accounts for another 35%-40% of demand and Fashion jewellery 5-10%.
Malayali brides wears the most gold - on an average 320 grams - close to Rs 16 lakhs as of 2020. Usual Malayali wedding sees the bride decked in about 320 grams (40 sovereigns) of gold jewellery on an average. Besides the chain holding the minnu (another name for the thali or the mangalsutra), the chains you would see a Malayali bride sporting are the Kurumalaka Mala and pathakkam. The gold bangles preferred these days are the Kolkata bangles, machine-cut bangles and thoda bangles.
Among earrings it is the jhimkkis occupy pride of place. In necklaces, the more famous ones are the kingini mala, manga mala, kaasu mala, lakshmi mala and mulla motu mala. Also preferred are toe rings and the kolusu (anklets).
For brides waiting to be dazzled in Gold, the Elakkathali - chokers, vanki, the armlet or bajuband with elaborate temple motifs quite prominent among jewellers in the state.
Good time to buy Gold in Kerala:
If you are buying gold as an investment, the timing can depend on international trend. For Gold as a jewellery, majority of the buying occurs during Wedding-season. Then, there’s Vishu, Onam, Malayalam new year, Eid, Christmas, Diwali, and Makara Sankranthi. Vishu- the new year of Keralites, that usually falls in April every year is closely associated with gold - from the gifting of gold coins and ornaments, to the golden cucumber, a fruit popularly bought during New Year season. Also, Kerala observes massive gold-sales during Christmas and Eid. Other popular occasions for buying gold are birthdays and anniversaries and gifting occasions.
Time-Trusted & Popular Gold Showrooms of Kerala:
Top gold jewellers of Kerala include Bhima, Kalyan Jewelers, Joy Alukaas, Malabar Gold and Jos Alukaas. Keralites while buying gold have increasingly begun to trade gold for money and to pawn it too. In this context, it is interesting to note that three Kerala-HQed gold companies Muthoot Finance Manappuram Finance and Muthoot Fincorp hold over 300 tons of gold - more than most countries.
Kerala-headquartered Kalyan Jewellers, which has been in the business for three decades and made a splash by fetching huge investments in two rounds from US private equity firm, Warburg Pincus. Kalyan Jewellers is also planning an IPO, the news that cheered the Dalal street.
Joyalukkas, the known name across ten other countries calls Kerala home. The group's entry into the jewellery trade dates back to 1956, when Joy Alukkas' father Varghese opened the company's first jewellery shop in Thrissur. His son Joy Alukkas, one among 18 siblings, has built on those foundations. He is among India's billionaire gold jewellers. Joyalukkas has won several laurels in the Gulf, which has a significant expat Malayali population, the most prominent one being the award of the Super-brand Status in the UAE not once, but for six years in succession.
Bhima Jewellers, another popular household name in Kerala was first to achieve an ISO-9001 certified gold outlet. B Govindan, Bhima Jewellers' head is among few jewellers with a doctorate in gemology. A look at reviews posted online on Google Maps about the showrooms sees many buyers asking wannabe customers to keep a close eye on making charges.
Malabar Gold is one of India's biggest gold retailers and it claims to be growing at a rapid pace in terms of turnover. Kerala is where the story of its rise began. It now has nearly two hundred and fifty showrooms across the India and the Gulf.
Tanishq, the relative newcomer to Kerala's booming jewellery sector, set up shop just a decade ago. But then, it has a fairly large presence in the country. Tanishq, from the House of Tatas, offers Bangles, Bracelets, Chains, Earrings, Necklaces, Nosepins, Pendant Earrings Set, Pendants, Rings, Wedding Collections, Shubham and Divyam Collections, Traditional and Modern Jewellery, Diamonds Jewellery, Gold Jewellery, Silver Jewellery, Gemstones, Diamond Rings, Diamond Set, Pearl, Polki, Gold Coins, Solitaire Jewellery and Bespoke Jewellery.
Kerala's billionaire jewellers, Forbes, values Joy Alukkas and TS Kalyanaraman of Kalyan Jewellers at several billions. Theirs has been a rapid ascent aided by the Malayali's love for gold. Malabar Gold's MP Ahamed and Bhima's B Govindan are also not far behind.
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Investment in Gold or bullion can always safeguard your hard-earned money from inflation. It is advised that each individual keen of building a financial portfolio should allocate 10 to 15 percent of his or her savings in gold and gold-backed assets. However, in these days of market-competition and digitization, getting accurate rates has turned out as a cumbersome task. Even a 10 rupee change in gold rates can result in a huge saving in your financial portfolio.
The gold rates in Kerala is a way to enable customers access the latest and authentic gold rates. Having the latest and authentic rates can help buyers plan and even negotiate when it comes to buying and selling of gold and jewellery. Knowing the latest rate also helps while seeking a gold loan. As a reader engagement, Sify talks to several industry veterans and market experts to offer readers latest insights on where gold rates could head to. We request readers to bookmark this page or download Sify Gold rates app to keep a track of the latest and most accurate gold trends across India.
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