Gold is intrinsic to Indian culture, closely tied to religious beliefs, tradition and festivals. Bridal jewellery dominates the gold jewellery landscape, enjoying 50-55% of market share; weddings, together with festivals, constitute the two major gold purchase occasions in India. In the absence of official records, the country is estimated to have around 11-13mn weddings per year.
With women marrying at an average age of 22 and with more than half of the country’s 1.4bn population below the age of 25, demand for bridal jewellery looks set to remain strong over the long term. The importance of this type of jewellery in India stems largely from the fact that the gold gifted to a woman for her wedding is solely her property and is therefore an important form of financial security. Agriculture remains important to gold demand. India has seen significant urbanisation yet 65% of the population still live in rural areas and depend on the land for their livelihood. Gold remains the most popular form of investment for these communities, and while access to bank accounts has increased, faith in gold has not diminished. Gold demand in this segment is seasonal, closely linked to the success-or otherwise-of harvests.