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Why not to invest in gold - A social and economic perspective

>> Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Gold is one of the most over rated commodities in the investments market. Most commodities can be made to look lucrative by sheer manipulation by a group of well connected buyers. These buyers' extensive networks, can fluctuate the supply and demand. Hence, it has been a point of debate among analysts about feasibility of opting for Gold as an investment option.

Unlike any other mineral or metal, gold can be mined in its pure form, also called raw gold. Investment in gold happens in three forms - jewelery, coins/ biscuits, and raw gold. I am not sure of the purity of gold jewelery we buy from jewelers in India. Although they claim to sell 22k jewelery gold, time and again, it has been proved that most jewelery is not more than 21k (most reliable sellers). So is there a real reason to go about accumulating gold in jewelery or any other form. There was a time say just a few years ago when investing in gold meant a washout investment with no dividends and an added headache of storage and safe guarding the metal. I do not want to delve more into the financial analysis part of owning GOLD.

Gold coins

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Raw gold - nuggets

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Major cause for concern is the dowry system prevalent in India. Even in the most decent of families, brides are put on a comparison chart for the amount of jewelery and money they bring into the family. Financial strain on a girl's parent turns into a perfect alibi for female infanticide and foeticide in in India. Dowry system is a major strain and a huge emotional trauma for the girl as well. It is rather a matter of ridiculous pride to show off the loot for the groom's family. It doesn't stop there....greed leads to murder or suicide(Newspapers carry at least one story each day). Educated and well to do families don't stop lusting for more money and literally auction off their sons in the marriage market. (Pathetic).

It is not a great thing though but, I too was among those who were taunted for not having enough gold. My parent's financial situation, my aversion to gold and the compulsion to wear jewelery for my wedding led me to make some real fine pieces of precious stone jewelery in silver...ridiculous as it may seem but my family calls them artificial. Time and again I have tried making them see the economic and aesthetic perspective of my choice, but I failed..god save me......:).

A good friend of mine believes - heavier the bride's wedding neck wear (mangal suthra /thaali), the better it is for her married life...(in a way yes!! she wont be tortured or insulted in her in-law's home)....Are such thoughts nothing but justifications for the dowry system. I am not sure. My question - what about those families who cannot afford heavy jewelery?

I have been researching on the green perspective on gold mining. the post is turning out to be quite horrific...and its coming soon....


Anonymous 18 December 2009 at 01:44  

Hi Sudha

A great post! I am looking forward to the post on gold mining details you have hinted at...
I read about the horrible effect gold mining has on dear earth and from then I have literally stopped buying gold! Do write more informative psots like this... let us hope more people will read your beautiful posts and more eco-friendly they become.

sudha 18 December 2009 at 01:55  

Thanks for the comment research on gold mining is a WIP ....Believe me I already feel guilty for what ever gold I have. :)

I am so glad you felt the same about gold minig and took a decision for the better.

As far as making an impact with my blog...I seem to have a really long way to go... :(

Divya Shankar 9 November 2010 at 04:26  

Hi Sudha,
I have a post on my blog describing the harsh reality behind gold mining and the impact it has/will leave on all of us. Please feel free to read -

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