The United States of America is one of the world’s biggest gold markets. In fact, the U.S., along with India, recently overtook Italy as the world’s biggest exporter of gold jewellery. Italy, which was once the biggest producer and exporter of mass-produced gold jewellery worldwide owing to luxury brands like Damiani, Bulgari, and Roberto Coin, lost out mostly due to stiff competition from low cost producers and high tariff barriers.
The gold market in the USA is one where gifting is a dominant trend, with more than 50% of the value of retail gold jewellery being created by pieces that cost over $1,000. Like women in China and numerous other nations where gold jewellery is viewed as an investment rather than just a personal style statement, American women often hand down their pieces to the future generations.
The traditional holiday season in particular witnesses a spurt in gold gifting, although gifting gold jewellery for no occasion in particular is also a sustained trend in the USA. This is because spontaneous gifting, more so by men, is gaining popularity as a suitable way to express a tender message with a public statement.
Although the U.S. does not have a festive season or marriage season similar to the ones in India, gold jewellery features prominently in American weddings. Every three out of four brides in the USA have been proposed to with gold rings. However, the brides aren’t alone in this regard. Many bridegrooms also receive and wear gold wedding bands, a custom that originated in the country as far back as the early 20th century. Gold rings in the U.S. market are not just popular- they are a symbol of love and commitment.
Most of the gold jewellery in the USA is typically 18 carats. Gold of the purer variety is not as common since it is considered too ‘soft’ for use. Higher purity levels, however, are the norm in India, the Middle East, and China.