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Indian jewellers see jump in wedding gold recycling

Published Wednesday 11th January 2017

India is one of the top countries for recycling gold and this wedding season, which runs through to May, it’s forecast that 400 tonnes of the precious metal will be melted down to create new jewellery.

It’s traditional to give heavy gold jewellery, from rings and bangles to earrings and pendants, as wedding gifts for Indian brides and grooms. This year, there is a shortage of gold available and jewellers are experiencing a steep rise in the number of people bringing in old gold items to be turned into new jewellery to be given as gifts, the International Business Times reported.

Around one million couples are expected to tie the knot during the wedding season and meeting demand for gold for the marriage market is proving difficult. The Indian government has imposed restrictions on importing the precious metal to try to reduce its trade deficit and import taxes have been increased three times in recent months.

Kumar Jain, a gold retailer in Mumbai, told Reuters: “In this wedding season, since there is no gold available in the market, people have started coming with recycled gold.

“They have started exchanging the old gold for new and pay the labour charges.”

India is the world’s second biggest importer of gold after China but the Indian government is trying to reduce the amount it brings in from abroad. It’s set up a number of initiatives to persuade people to part with their old gold, including specialist recycling centres around the country. The World Gold Council reckoned an astonishing 20,000 tonnes of the precious metal was tucked away in Indian homes in 2012.

The demand for gold may not be as great here in the UK, but when you recycle your old or unwanted pieces, much of it will be used in the same way as it is in India to create new jewellery.