New Delhi: The craze for gold was on full display Tuesday, especially in the South, on Akshaya Tritiya, as people rushed to buy the metal, pushing jewellery sales up by 10-20 percent although prices fell across major cities, except Chennai.
Shops in Chennai were open over-night for people to make their purchase on a day which is considered auspicious for buying gold on belief that it heralds more prosperity in the year.
Advance bookings were also entertained along with gift schemes to attract buyers who also thronged stores in Kerala.
Jewellers and bullion traders said retail demand remained robust in most parts of the country as prices have declined by about 10 percent from last year's 'Akshaya Tritiya'.
In South India, which contributes about 60 percent of total sales on this day, gold sales remained brisk.
In some parts of the country, good demand was seen for diamonds as well due to less price volatility, jewellers said.
In the National Capital, gold prices fell by Rs 100 to Rs 27,100 per 10 grams. Similar was the trend in other cities, except Chennai where prices went up by Rs 80.
Delhi-based Khanna Jewellers' Chairman Vijay Khanna said sales are up by 10-15 per cent and are better than last year.
"Jewellery sales are 12 percent higher on year-to-year basis as prices are down by 10 percent at Rs 26,800 per ten grams today as compared with Rs 30,200 per ten grams in the year-ago," Mumbai-based All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation Chairman Manish Jain said told PTI.
He, however, said that sales of gold coins and bars for investment purpose were lower by almost 25-30 percent.
Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association President Jayantilal Challani said, "The response has been very good and as good as it was last year."
Kerala-based Kalyan Jewellers, which has 66 stores across the country, said it expects a sales growth of 5-7 percent.
"Sales are very good. Seeing the trend from the morning, we expect 5-7 percent growth in sales in each of our store. But our overall growth in revenue would be 30 per cent as the company has opened 11 new stores," the company's Director Rajesh Kalyanaraman said.