"We expect the sales to be around 20 percent higher than last year as the demand is high today (Friday). Demand was quite low on the last two days, but it has picked up today," Rahul Gupta, chairman and managing director of P.P. Jewellers in New Delhi told IANS.
Akshaya Tritiya, which is believed to bring good luck and success, is a holy day for Hindus and the Jains. It is considered to be a auspicious day to bring home gold.
The gold price was hovering around Rs.28,557 per 10 grams on Friday.
"Jewellers expect 30-40 percent sales growth this Akshaya Tritiya as compared to last year's sales-both in volume and value. During the (general) election people were reluctant to carry even Rs.50,000 in cash fearing confiscation by Election Commission officials. As a result, sales were down for the past two months. Now that the polls are almost over, people will be buying gold on Akshaya Tritiya," Jayantilal Challani, president, the Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association, told IANS.
Gold prices went down to around Rs.24,500 per 10 grams a month before Akshaya Tritiya in 2013, so people bought gold to take advantage of the low price. But the price was around Rs.25,500 per 10 grams on Akshaya Tritiya day.
"The average bill size today will be higher than normal days as people generally save for the occasion and buy gold jewellery. Those who want to buy gold today (Friday), normally go for coins. Those who had planned for the occasion would buy the items they had planned," Challani said.
Youngsters buy lightweight bracelets and chains while those who had planned their purchase much earlier opt for bangles, Challani said.
"Today (Friday) some jewellers offer free pick-up service for prospective customers. Some jewellers offer to pay back the difference in the gold price to those customers, who had ordered jewellery couple of days back only to take delivery on this auspicious day. The customer is not asked to pay the higher sum if the gold price had gone up," Challani added.
In India's financial capital Mumbai, despite an upward trend in gold prices in the past few weeks, customers came out in large numbers to buy gold on the auspicious day. The buying trend was good in cities like Pune, Nashik, Kolhapur and Nagpur as well.
Jewellers attributed the high demand to the ongoing wedding season, though it would have been better if the election season had not coincided with the festival, they felt.
"These are early trends, but we are hopeful of a further pick-up by evening," said Mumbai-based V. Shrikrishna of Pramila Jewellers.