Bold on gold
Indians love their gold, said jewellery retailers in Little India.
And this could add more bling to Deepavali or the Festival of Lights, which is on Oct 22.
When The New Paper took a stroll down Serangoon Road last week, we noticed the excitement building up in the area as Hindus prepared to celebrate their special day.
Ms Ramma, senior manager of Indian Jewellers who has been helping her father run the jewellery business for more than 20 years, said that business was usually better this time of the year.
"Although there are more people buying gold jewellery now, gold actually has nothing to do with Deepavali," she said.
She attributed the increase to the drop in gold prices. It is about $49 per gram, compared to around $55 per gram this time last year.
"But I think people are buying jewellery because the auspicious months for weddings are coming, so people buy now to keep and give away later."
It is the same sentiment at Kamala Jewellers.
According to Mr M. Narayana Samy, 67, director of Kamala Jewellers, Indians are buying gold jewellery because Deepavali is a joyous occasion.
He has been in the trade for more than 50 years and he said that he has noticed that the demand for religious designs increased during the Deepavali period.
"The ladies like necklaces featuring Lakshmi as she is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and love," he said, showing samples of the intricate designs.
The necklaces cost about $6,000 each, said Mr Samy, and were hand-made by artisans in Sri Lanka.
The men, he said, would opt for rings that have "planet stones", which are gems - ruby, white pearl, red coral, emerald, yellow sapphire, diamond, blue sapphire and cat's eye - that represent the nine planets in Indian astrology.
Mr Samy said that the planet stones rings were symbols of prosperity and good luck.
Ms Ramma added that part of Deepavali preparations was also to beautify their homes like changing furniture and getting new curtains.
She said: "Of course, for ladies, we must also get the nice saris to look pretty."
That was certainly why Ms S. Susheela, 50, was in Little India with her three daughters, who are aged between 16 and 24.
She said: "We don't usually come to Little India until a few days before. But usually by then, the best saris are sold.
"We also need to buffer time for alterations, if needed."
Miss Siva Nangai, 21, a student, said that making a trip to Little India is a must each year.
"I'll come and recce first to see what to buy for the house and what sweets and snacks are good.
"Closer to Deepavali, we'll come again as a family to shop. That way, my parents can pay for what I want," she said, laughing.
"The ladies like necklaces featuring Lakshmi as she is the Hindu goddess of wealth, prosperity and love."
- Mr M. Narayana Samy, director of Kamala Jewellers.