Weighing in at a staggering 108 carat, the Koh-i-Noor diamond is one of the most iconic gems ever discovered. Its name means “Mountain of Light” and legend tells it will bring great fortune and power to anyone who’s deemed worthy to wear it. It’s literally the crown jewel of British royalty, set in the crown that’s been worn by the former empire’s monarchs since the colonial era. Lately, the large gemstone has become part of a controversial ownership dispute between India and the United Kingdom, prompting a lawsuit for its return to Indian soil.
The demand to return the diamond was initiated by the All India Human Rights & Social Justice Front, a private association working to preserve the country’s legacy and historically important artifacts. This isn’t the first time the Koh-i-Noor has been the subject of international controversy. In 1976, British officials denied a request to give up the diamond, claiming the gem to be part of the original peace treaty signed by the English and Sikh in the middle of the 1800’s. Adding fuel to the fire, other countries are also claiming ownership. The Punjab region of the Sikh empire resides in an area that is now split between India and Pakistan. Before being gifted to the British queen Victoria in 1850, the gem was the property of Afghan royalty who, in turn, is said to have acquired the stone from the Persians.
The All India Human Rights & Social Justice Front states that the British stole the diamond from the Indian people, and wants the British government to cede the Koh-i-Noor along with an official apology for questionable conduct during their reign. However, as official records clearly indicate that the diamond was given freely to the British by king Ranjit Singh for coming to the nation’s aid during the Sikh Wars, the government of India and the Supreme Court have come to the conclusion that the diamond cannot be considered a stolen artifact. The famous jewel was a crucial object in the settlement between the British and Sikh empires, which laid down the foundation for what has grown into a mutual beneficial and prosperous relationship. Historical importance and extravagant beauty aside, a gem isn’t worth jeopardizing international relations.
It looks like the Koh-i-Noor will remain in British care, safely tucked away in the London Tower Museum as a symbol for the old alliance between East and West.
In the year of 2014, with the whole country celebrating the traditional festival of everlasting lights, India for the first time in modern days passed China in terms of average prosperity and economic growth. As the largest democratic nation on the planet, India’s rapid progress is the result of series of government-implemented policies with the mission to stimulate business development. With the Chinese market showing signs of slowing down even further in 2016, India is on the verge of permanently claiming the spot as the world’s second-largest economy.
How did this happen, you may ask? In this article, we closely examine the economic history of India as an independent nation.
As India became free from British colonial reign in the mid 90’s, the country was still largely a isolationist economy closed off to the outside world. When the British finally recognized India as a sovereign entity in 1947, they left behind a country engulfed in chaos. Major conflicts ravaged the different regions, with religious clashes and military skirmishes being an almost daily occurrence. Wealth distribution was at an all-time low, the education system in shambles and the domestic economy more or less in pieces. To get the nation back on track, the newly installed government issued a number of economic reforms designed to lessen India’s dependence on foreign products, while boosting key industry sectors. Like so many other newly liberated nations at this time, India adopted an old school socialist structure. Unfortunately, the system initially failed to produce desired results, and the country nearly succumbed to ineffective administration and widespread corruption. It wasn’t until the 80’s that India managed to secure its position as an economic power player. The isolationist approach prevented foreign companies from establishing a foothold in India, which ultimately hampered its development. On top of this, the nation had to suffer through the global oil crisis in the 1970’s, accompanied by hyperinflation. Nevertheless, international corporations started to recognize India’s potential and managed to cut heavily regulated deals with the strict government.
The early 90’s saw the final demise of the Soviet Union, depriving India of its biggest oil supplier. This, together with the wars in the Middle East, saw a drastic increase in oil prices. As one of the heaviest consumers of crude oil, India’s already struggling economy could not keep up and the country came close to the edge of ruin. At this point, political leaders saw the pressing need for a more open market and moved to once more change the country’s economic policies. By devaluating the currency, lifting the sanctions on gold imports and cutting down on international fees, India aimed to attract foreign investors with a less punishing financial climate. At the same time, the industry sector went through a series of reforms, making it easier for both foreign and domestic companies to provide their services.
Thanks to the foresight of the liberal government, India was transformed into a modern, capitalist nation. It didn’t take long to see the benefits as India’s economy quickly grew to become one of the largest markets in the world. In less than 20 years, India’s GDP increased more than four times and its financial reserves were fifty times larger than in the 1990’s. By 2011, the country’s annual exports were valued at a staggering $250 billion. In this booming economy came the rise of the country’s middle class and a ravenous appetite for consumption. Overall living standards were improving drastically, not just in major cities, but in the countryside as well.
In 50 years, India has gone from a mostly agricultural economy to an industrial giant, once again proving the adaptability and ingenuity of the cradle of civilization.
Gold has always been one of the most desired metals in the world, both for its attractive qualities and many practical uses. The constant demand for gold bars on the global market has also made gold a good investment opportunity for financial profit and security, especially during times of economic downturns. India is one of the biggest buyers of gold bars and its domestic gold market has grown so large that it affects international prices. Together with China and the United States, India’s gold consumption is what mainly determines the perceived value of gold bars for sale.
Because gold is a finite resource with a very limited supply in comparison to other financial assets, purchasing gold bars and keeping them in storage is a way to protect your personal finances from economic recession and stock market crashes. If the economy enters a stage of slowed growth, the price of gold bars for sale goes up as investors try to minimize their losses by transferring their money from paper assets to physical products with tangible value. As gold prices continue to go up due to an ever-increasing demand, you can sell your gold bars for a good profit. Indian gold investors are known for buying gold bars while the average price is fairly low in order to sell them to European buyers when prices eventually hit another peak. A couple of years ago, Indian investors started to back away from gold bars due to climbing prices in the wake of the Great Recession. They didn’t abandon gold for other assets other than in the short term as they were merely waiting for the rupee to recover and gold prices to fall. Once the spot price of gold bars for sale fell below a desired number in a rebounding economic environment, India started buying gold again in vast quantities, preparing for the next financial crisis.
This is how it should be done, but many western countries have yet to grasp this simple concept. With every gold bar sold, there’s one less available on the market and it cannot be replaced unless another is produced. It’s not like buying company stocks where the value purely depends on estimations and performance of services. Every year there’s less gold bars available on the market as the limited supply can’t keep up with the rising demand. Let’s picture a worst-case scenario where the US economy falls apart and the dollar is ultimately devalued. In this setting, India and China would hold an extremely important trump card thanks to their massive gold reserves. There’s still time for western investors to get in on the action, but one should act with haste. Locate a recognized gold company that provides gold bars for sale and start investing in physical gold assets today. You can visit Bright Golden Future to find high-quality gold bars for sale and financial tips for investors interested in rare commodities and precious metals.
As a gold investor, you generally have two options when making a purchase. You can have your gold bars delivered to your home for personal storage, or you can let your chosen custodian keep them in a secure vault in a retirement account backed by gold. This will be a self-directed IRA which lets you invest in tangible assets without any additional taxes or penalties. Since your retirement funds are supported by real gold bars, your wealth will stay protected from volatile market shifts. The spot price of gold may fluctuate due to unforeseen economic developments, but it’s still the one of the safest bets you can make as a private investor. People who put their savings in real estate or bonds saw their money disappear practically overnight when the housing market collapsed in 2007. The effect spread to other markets too, meaning a traditional IRA or 401k could become completely worthless since there was no real value backing them. Investors were artificially inflating market value under false pretenses, and when the bubble burst, it all came crashing down. It was good while it lasted, but when things took a turn for the worse, the entire global economy found itself fighting for its very survival.
Today, we find ourselves in a similar situation. The economy seems to be improving, but we’re still treading on thin ice. The last crisis was merely averted, not corrected. The Chinese market is in disarray and the US economy shows ever-decreasing growth in its GDP reports. In this fragile setting, investment banks are picking up where they left off last time, distributing risky financial products and bets on a mass-produced scale. There hasn’t even been a full recovery and we’re seeing the mutation of another bubble. A backlash is inevitable in this scenario and the only question is when, not if, it will hit us again. Central banks all over the globe are turning to gold as a way to insure their liquid capital, as do the market’s biggest exchanges. Gold bars are being used as currency in more contracts and transactions than ever before, and with the output from the world’s gold mines rapidly declining, we might see gold becoming the universal standard for all trade in the near future.
Investing in gold bars for sale is not the fastest way to grow your wealth. However, it is the most secure option if you’re concerned about the current economy. Placing your money in a personal supply of gold bars grants you the best of two worlds. On one hand, you acquire a universally valued asset with a historically proven performance record and strong profit projections. On the other, you give yourself an effective insurance policy that not only guarantees your financial security, but will vastly improve your leverage in the case of another economic disaster, as well.
Indian investors are fully aware of the importance of a portfolio diversified in gold bars and precious metals, and you should be, too.
India has always been a central hub for the global diamond trade. Lately, the country has seen a rapid increase in diamond purchases, and India is on its way to becoming the world’s largest market for both raw and refined diamonds. The De Beers Group, widely considered as the biggest diamond supplier, recently released a statement saying that the company is putting the Indian market as their number one priority for retail expansion. The main reason is a booming trend among India’s wealthy elite when it comes to diamond designs. The demand for exclusive luxury designs and jewelry is on the rise, with society women hunting down pieces that can’t be obtained elsewhere. A fancy dinner party in New Delhi would put the jewelry of old European kings and queens to shame.
It’s not just about showing off wealth, though, as the diamond industry is also fueled by market price fluctuations and the recent decline of currency value. The Indian rupee is quickly losing value in comparison to the dollar, making commodities like precious metals a tougher buy and sell on the domestic market. This would explain the drop in diamond prices. According to the international diamond trade index, average prices of high-quality diamonds have dropped almost 20 percent over the last few years, with the average price for a 1-carat diamond expected to drop below $8,000 before the end of 2016.
There are still some challenges for the growing diamond industry, however. The various degrees of cuts and qualities available make it hard to pinpoint a generally accepted value for Indian diamonds. Add to this the lack of an official rate for retailers and certified exchanges, combined with the absence of a daily updated spot price, and it’s clear that diamonds still have some hurdles to overcome before they can become a real favorite among private investors who trade in rare commodities on a day-to-day basis.
The biggest appeal for diamonds lies in its historical appreciation value. You would be a fool to underestimate the driving forces of tradition and sentimentality, and the Indian suppliers are no fools. The last years have seen an aggressive marketing campaign from the diamond industry to shift the traditional focus on gold towards purchases of the sparkling carbon. This investment has clearly paid off, because top suppliers such as De Beers are now showing a consistent annual growth of over 30 percent. And it just keeps getting better for them. The only question is: for how long? International companies and domestic retailers have also discovered this growing trend and the massive potential for profit that the Indian diamond industry holds. Local suppliers and jewelers are quickly becoming serious competitors for the top names, mainly focusing on appealing to the younger crowd with bolder and more contemporary designs.
The wedding market is the ultimate price, with diamonds slowly supplanting the exclusive use of gold that used to be common in wedding jewelry. It’s a long-standing tradition in Indian families for the parents of the bride to hand their daughter a set of customized jewelry as a wedding gift. This dates back thousands of years and its origins can be found in ancient religious ceremonies. The material used in these custom-made sets varies depending on the families wealth, with diamonds becoming the new status symbol and therefore the most desired precious gem for India’s elite.
The increasing demand for diamonds and its affect on the rare commodity market has made several financial experts concerned. They argue that a continued boom in India’s diamond industry will have a negative effect on the precious metal industry, which could see a severe economic backlash within the coming years. Regardless, there are no signs of the diamond craze to wane off any time soon among India’s bold and beautiful.