Thanks to a dip in the prices of gold this year, brisk buying of the precious metal was seen on Monday as people opened their purse strings for Dhanteras.
The newly minted "Made in India" gold coin also saw good sales.
"The trend is very good this year. For the first time, price is on the lower side during Dhanteras period. People are spending to buy jewellery this year," Balram Garg, managing director, PC Jewellers, told IANS in Delhi.
"I expect sales to go up by 40-50 percent this year. The wedding season is also here. So, people are also buying jewellery on this day for wedding purposes," added the chief of PC Jewelers, which has 56 stores across the country.
The gold coin launched by the government last week, with the images of Ashok Chakra and Mahatma Gandhi, also saw some good buying. "Till 4 p.m. we expect at least 5,000 coins to have been sold across our 18 outlets in India," an official of then Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) told IANS, declining to be named.
MMTC, a state-run unit, is the official manufacturer of this coin. About 15,000 coins of 5 gm, 20,000 coins of 10 gm and 3,750 gold bullions were made available through MMTC outlets initially, the government said on the day of launch.
Dhanteras or Dhantrayodashi is celebrated on the 13th day of Hindu lunar month of Kartik. On this day, buying gold is considered to be auspicious.
The price of the yellow metal was hovering around Rs.25,000 per 10 gram on Monday. Gold price was around Rs.27,600 per 10 grams on the Dhanteras day last "ear.
"Even the general demand at consumer level was good today. The activity level is quite high. It is much better than last year's. The price is very attractive and the consumers are drawn towards it," Somasundaram P.R., managing director, India, World Gold Council, told IANS.
"Very vibrant, earlier it was only symbolic buying but now they are celebrating by buying jewellery which they are utilizing more. Buying diamonds is also a catching up trend," Kishan Surana, managing partner, Sri Krishna Diamonds, told IANS in Bengaluru.
But N. Anantha Padmanabhan, managing director of NAC Jewellers in Chennai, told IANS that the rains have dampened the sales.
"We expect the sales to be better this year as the gold price is attractive. Last 10 days' sales were good. Today sale of gold coins will be better," Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association president Jayantilal Challani told IANS.
"However, sale of gold coins launched by the central government may not be much as of now, since there is lack of awareness about the coins and the outlet where they're sold from," he added.
In Kolkata, too, the shop-keepers have recorded good sales.
"Today, our shops will be open till 11 p.m. We're experiencing a huge rush. Compared to previous year, there's been a huge surge of 20-25 percent thanks to aggressive marketing and promotions," Premjit Sengupta, chief marketing officer, Senco, Gold told IANS.
The financial capital of India, Mumbai, was no exception. People in the western megapolis also flocked stores to buy jewellery.
"It is beyond our expectations, given the current high inflationary trends the country has witnessed in past six months or so, customers are flocking to make an auspicious purchase of gold today, from small to medium quantities," Rakesh Shetty, president of Mumbai Jewellers Federation, told IANS.
Shetty estimates that the final sales figures could be more than double of what was notched in 2014 and terms it as "a positive fallout of the Bihar elections".