Gold price jumps to all-time high of Nu 52,490

It has increased by Nu 3,041 compared to last week

The price of 10g of gold is Nu 52,490 today, which is an increase of Nu 3,041 compared to the price last week.

The prices are as per the figures of the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA).

The price of 10g of gold was Nu 49,448 last week. Now, if we buy one gram of gold it will cost around Nu 5,249.

Meanwhile, the gold price dropped by 13.8% in India last month as it cost around Rs 50,309 for 10g of gold.

But the price of gold has increased more than once in the last three months in Bhutan.

The owner of the Manilal jewelry shop, which is one of the oldest jewelry shops in Thimphu, Ram Kumar Barailey said the demand for gold has never gone down even when prices have increased.

“We continue to get orders for gold or gold jewelry, but we cannot provide them right now. We hope for better business after the borders open,” he said.

According to the owner, the business has gone down drastically as they are not able to buy gold from India due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“If we buy from RMA, it is expensive now. The shop used to keep several grams of gold as a reserve, but today it does not have any gold reserve after the border gates were closed,” he said.

“If we have gold there is no dearth of customers. As we don’t have gold and cannot buy from India, we can’t make products and sell to our customers,” he added.

Most of the jewelry shops in Thimphu used to go to Kalimpong in India to buy gold and for jewelry designing. While gold jewelry is readily available in the market, to buy gold one has to wait for a minimum of one week.

Sanju Saily, a retailer of gold and silver goods in Thimphu said the number of customers has decreased drastically after the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, he said he has to run his business as he has been doing that for the past 20 to 30 years.

“Last time, the price of 10g gold was Nu 50,000, but it is Nu 52,000 presently and sometimes it reaches Nu 49,000,” he said.

The owner of Khushi Jewelry, Hemlath Biswa, who has been running a gold and silver business in Thimphu for three years, said the actual rate for 10g of gold is Nu 52,000 and silver is Nu 1,500. With a 5% discount, the rate comes to Nu 50,000 for 10g of gold and Nu 1,000 for silver.

Hemlath Biswa is also running into losses.

“Before the pandemic, I used to earn more than Nu 70,000 to 80,000 per day, but now I hardly get Nu 5,000 per day. I might get Nu 20,000 at the maximum,” he said.

He said they were informed by the dealers in Kalimpong that when the dollar rate increases in India, the price of gold also increases and vice-versa.

However, he said the alteration in the price of silver is less as the demand is very low, unlike gold.

The price of gold fluctuates every month. Sometimes it drops to Nu 45,000 to 50,000 for 10g, but Nu 52,490 is an all-time high price of gold in the country.

Ram Kumar said that the prices of gold have increased and it would not drop as of now because the price of gold depends on the country’s economy. He does not agree that the variation in the dollar exchange rate leads to a price hike of gold.

“When the country’s economy shrinks, the price of gold will increase and when a country’s economy is well-off, the price will decrease,” he said. 

He said gold, silver, and any metals can be recycled and manufactured, and manufacturing is done in Kalimpong, while the purchase is done from within Bhutan.

“We exchange gold in Kalimpong; we take gold to them and do an exchange with their products,” he said.

Ram Kumar, who has been in this business for more than 20 years, said his customers have decreased by 80% after the pandemic.

Kinley Yonten from Thimphu