It’s time for me to wish all my Indian friends and clients a wonderful Dhanteras – which this year falls today, 13 November, and a very happy Diwali, or Shubh Diwali in Hindi.
Diwali is the annual festival of lights and kicks off with Dhanteras, which is actually two words, Dhan meaning wealth and Teras which means 13th day. The Indian goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, is traditionally worshipped on Dhanteras, along with the god Ganesha, the god of knowledge and the god Kuber, another god of wealth.
It’s no surprise therefore that this time of year is a traditional gold-buying season for billions of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and others across the world. Wealth and knowledge – the two things go together and find their natural joint home in gold.
Over many years Indians have accumulated some 25,000 tonnes of gold. In India, an average monthly per capita expenditure on gold and jewellery is about Rupees 494 (about $7) in urban households; It’s around half that in rural areas. This accounts for nearly 23% of the households’ durable purchases.
Why is gold-buying so associated with Dhanteras and Diwali? According to Hindu folklore there once was a king named Hima, whose son was predicted to die on the fourth day of his marriage. Hima’s daughter-in-law saved her husband from dying by preventing the god of death, Yamaraj from entering her house. She did so by placing a lot of Diyas – a small oil-lamp made from baked clay – plus a heap of gold jewellery and silver coins at the door. The strong light coming from the glittering jewellery and the bright Diyas blinded Yamaraj who couldn’t take Hima’s son’s life. It is therefore believed that buying gold and silver jewellery can protect you and your family members against any ill will, and will bring good luck, wealth, and prosperity to the house. The most auspicious time to buy gold during Dhanteras is held to be between 6:42 am and 5:59 pm.
I think the most auspicious time to buy gold is all year through – although I would say that, wouldn’t I? But this year’s Dhanteras coincides with a recent (and probably short-lived) fall in the price of gold, so gold-buyers can pick up a bargain.
2020 will be remembered as the year of the virus but also as the year of the lockdown. Lockdowns have been imposed the world over, and they certainly will cut people’s ability to handle, look at and buy physical gold this Dhanteras, although the All India Gems and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJF) is hopeful that as much as 70% of last year’s business will be done this year, and others are hopeful that business could be almost normal.
This year, I have a suggestion for anyone looking to buy or give gold who doesn’t want to go through the tedium of shopping either on-line or face-to-face. Through Glint it! (not available in the US as yet but soon will be) it makes sending gold to your friends and family easy-peasy. And remember – at Glint, your gold is legally allocated to you. It’s not paper, it’s not crypto or ‘backed-by’, or a credit note; it is real gold, kept in a Brinks vault in Switzerland. Brinks is insured by Lloyds of London and their policy covers the replacement value of Glint client’s gold as held in their vault.
So your gold is real, it’s safe, it’s yours. It is the very best way of connecting wealth with knowledge.
See you next week, happy Diwali!