Sil­ver trumps gold

CityPress - - Business - – Bloomberg

Women’s feet in ru­ral In­dia il­lus­trate why more peo­ple than ever are think­ing sil­ver is a bet­ter deal than gold in a coun­try that is one of the world’s big­gest jew­ellery buy­ers.

For his wife’s birth­day last month, sugar cane grower San­deep Chakane gave her two an­kle bracelets made of sil­ver, a me­tal used mostly in In­dia to adorn feet. It’s also used for the toe rings worn by mar­ried women. The chains, weigh­ing 12g, cost $17.35 (R215), or 20% of what was left of his monthly in­come af­ter loan pay­ments on two trac­tors and a car.

“Sil­ver is cheaper than gold,” said Chakane. “We can af­ford to buy sil­ver or­na­ments ev­ery year, but we haven’t bought gold in the past two, three years.”

Though In­dia re­mains the world’s largest gold buyer af­ter China, de­mand for sil­ver has surged. Jew­ellery fab­ri­ca­tors in In­dia boosted sil­ver use by 47% last year to a record 1 936 tons, over­tak­ing China as the top con­sumer.

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