Gold jewellery sales sparkled in rural areas but were slack in urban areas during Dhanteras this year. As a result, the growth in sales this year is estimated about 10 per cent, the bullion industry says. This year’s sales were helped by the auspicious event, when people valuables such as gold, being spread over two days - Saturday and Sunday.

Sales were better than last year, though it is too early to talk of the rise in percentage now, said a Mumbai-based jeweller. “Over the next 2-3 days, the picture will be clear,” he said.

Somasundaram PR, Regional CEO, India at World Gold Council, said the seasonal spike at this time of the year rested more on a large number of weddings and post-harvest sentiment which was positive following a good monsoon.

Price drop neutralised

However, he said the current year does not have the benefit of a pent-up demand and higher savings caused by lockdowns that assisted last year’s season’s record demand. In addition, wallet squeeze due to inflation, hike in custom duty and depreciation in rupee have all neutralised the impact of drop in global price, he said.

22-carat gold, which is used for making jewels, was quoted at ₹4,923 a gm, while pure gold ruled at ₹5,044.

While factors appeared positive for robust gold demand for the season, particularly for organised players, pick up in rural demand was the key, he said.

Ramesh Kalyanaraman, Executive Director, Kalyan Jewellers said a majority of customers opted for light-weight token purchases such as mangalsutra, bracelets and chains, apart from gold coins. In line with the upcoming wedding season, there was a good response for heavier designs from the company's wedding collection, he said.

Suvankar Sen, Managing Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds said customer sentiments were positive due to the recent reduction in local gold prices. However, ticket sizes have been marginally lower than that of last year's.

Factors such as lower gold prices, offers, positive mindset of customers and increased number of footfalls at stores have compensated for marginally lower average ticket size of purchase. "We think this Diwali will be marginally better for our industry compared to the high base and performance of last year's. We are expecting standard low double-digit percentage of sales in value terms for the season," he said.