When you think of Gold you think of India - world's largest consumer of Gold. People think that we Indians are Gold crazy. Well, this statement cannot be completely wrong as our love affair with gold has been popular since ages.
From ancient times Gold has enjoyed safe-haven status. We buy gold because it has a very high traditional value.
It is the symbol of the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi and considered highly auspicious. In most religious books (like Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads and Gita) there is mention of gold as a metal of immense value. And, that’s why Hindus believe that Gold is a metal of Gods and demi-Gods.
Festivals such as Akshay Trithiya, Dhanteras, Diwali and Dussehra are considered auspicious time to buy the precious metal. It is believed that Gold bought on these days lasts forever.
It is not merely a store of value, its part of a way of life, a showing-off of wealth, status, position etc. That's why, Gold holds an emotional appeal for us and we rarely sell it. Instead, we will be happy to gift it to our next generation, i.e. in our daughter or daughter-in-law's wedding.
Actually, it is believed that gold gifted to brides as it brings luck and happiness through-out the married life plus it shows family's status and wealth.
Gold jewellery is worn by all women irrespective of their religious beliefs. Women of every age and time have always loved wearing gold ornaments. Moreover, Gold ornaments are never out of fashion. It also may be remembered that wedding rings are also traditionally made of gold to mark a long lasting relationship.
Following are some of cultural usage of Gold, though we use small in quantity but it gives an insight about how Gold is important for us.
1) When a new house is constructed many people embed a few grams of Gold at the foundation level called as Vastu Pratima. This is considered very auspicious.
2) Silk dresses worn by rich women contain Gold threads in embroidery.
3) Some Ayurvedic Medicines contain Gold in very small quantities.
4) Gold foil is used in preparation of some high class food items as sweets made from milk, pistachio, cashew nuts, etc.
5) Gold jewellery is used to decorate idols of Gods and demi-gods.
6) Gold is gifted to priests who perform religious ceremonies
Gold is ingrained in the Indian psyche as the only precious metal every family must have, and as much as possible.