India is experiencing a boom in gold recycling.
The country, which has been encouraging people to recycle to cut the high prices of importing gold, has seen the amount of the precious metal being recycled since January rise by as much as 50 per cent in some of its medium sized cities.
India is the world's second biggest gold importer after China and has a high demand for gold jewellery, which is traditionally given as a wedding gift. It's estimated, however, that up to 25,000 tonnes of gold is stored away in homes and temples.
The boom in recycling comes as the price of gold in India has risen by more than six per cent since the start of the year, encouraging people to cash in their old pieces or swap them for new ones during the wedding season.
Nitin Khandelwal, chairman, All India Gem & Jewellery Trade Federation, told the Economic Times: 'People living in smaller towns are recycling gold to meet the household demand. In these areas, the digital transaction facilities are not adequate to help them purchase gold. Most of them are not used to such transactions. And they do not want to give away the cash in hand. All these factors are forcing them to recycle old gold.'
It's estimated that demand for gold during wedding season will reach around 400 tonnes. Last year, 675 tonnes were imported to meet it. But overall, because of government efforts to reduce imports, the amount of gold brought into India during 2016 fell by 47 per cent compared to 2015.
Recycling your own unwanted or broken gold is a great way to raise cash, whether you are buying wedding gifts or just want some extra money to treat yourself. With the current high prices, it's an excellent time to get the most value from your unwanted items.