Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jewelry Sales In U.K. Hit Hard By Gold's Rise

Gold's rise had not deterred investment, nor has it deterred jewelry buying in countries where jewelry is held in part for investment purposes, but price sensitivity in the U.K. has deterred consumers there from buying jewelry.
[Gold's rise] has made it very costly to make gold jewellery, deterring many shoppers from buying. In the first three months of this year 1.06 million items of gold were hallmarked in Britain, a fall of 15.1 per cent on the same period a yea ago, with the weight of the gold products falling 20 per cent to 5.63 million grams, suggesting that people have been buying ever smaller pieces.

The quarterly falls follow a substantial decline in 2010 when just 5.8 million pieces were assayed, or officially tested, a dramatic decline from the peak year of 2001 when 27 million items were assayed.
The article notes that the segment of the market that's collapsed is women buying gold jewelry for themselves. Jewelry bought by men for gifts has held up, as has engagement and bridal rings.

Forgive me for being puckish, but I wonder how many of those women foregoing gold jewelry have stuffed some of their savings into a gold ETF for portfolio-insurance purposes...

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