China became a heavyweight in the global gold market when it overtook South Africa as the world’s largest producer of gold in 2007. This was a landmark, given that South Africa had consistently occupied the prime slot amongst the gold producing countries of the world since 1905.
China set another benchmark for itself in 2012, when it overtook India as the world’s largest consumer of gold. The country is now also the fastest growing gold jewellery market in the world, as much as it is home to some of the world’s most discerning gold buyers. Well over 80% of Chinese gold jewellery is comprised of 24 carat gold, which says a lot about the demand for pure gold in the country.
A majority of gold jewellery purchases in China are usually made for weddings. Brides are often given gold during their wedding ceremonies, and around 75% of women in urban China own at least one gold statement piece. Given the economic growth in rural China as well, the figures for national gold jewellery purchases are expected to rise in the coming years.
Two out of every three women in China consider gold jewellery to be more than a personal style statement. In fact, an overwhelming number of Chinese women believe gold jewellery is a reliable investment option as well and are acutely aware of the value of the pieces they own.
China’s boom in gold consumption means that retailers in the country are increasingly looking to smaller cities to foster an appetite for the precious metal. The increase in spending power and wealth in these areas may only reinforce China’s current position as the world’s largest consumer of gold despite the economic slowdown of late. The country’s gold jewellery market is now looking to penetrate third and fourth-tier cities in the country.