If there was another indicator to measure wealth in the world, barring currency, it would be gold. It is one of the nine noble metals, but gold’s value in the economy surpasses that of its counterparts. But the exploration and extraction of gold is a slow-moving, laborious process.
However, this metal still has a readily available market across the globe, which increases its liquidity, thereby making it an ideal asset. Owners of gold articles have the freedom to convert them into cash with ease.
Moreover, gold is a luxury good, which means that people purchase it in larger quantities when their income rises. Therefore, this yellow metal generally exhibits a steady increase due to high demand and inadequate supply, especially in a country like India. Most free-market economies of the world use gold reserves to hedge against inflation. As a result, this metal possesses an intrinsic value in the global economy as well.
“Karat” is the internationally recognized term used to denote the purity and weight of gold. Higher the Karat, better the purity of gold.
1) 24 Karat: 24 Karat gold is the purest and most expensive form of gold found in the market. Owing to it’s pliability 24-Karat gold is not usually used to make jewellery and is instead used for investment purposes, in the form of coins or bars.
2) 22 Karat: 22 Karat gold is generally used in the jewellery industry. In this type, pure gold is mixed with several alloys like zinc, nickel, or silver to make the gold harder and fit for jewellery. Generally, 22 Karat gold is 91.67% pure.
3)18 Karat: 18 Karat gold is the gold that is prepared by mixing 75% gold with 25% other alloys. 18 Karat gold is the cheapest type of gold available in the market.
GST or Goods and Services Tax came into effect on 1st July 2017 by subsuming the repetitive tax structure of the previous regime and bringing transparency and accountability in the taxation system.
The implementation of this new tax regime has left a considerable effect on the prices of several commodities, of which gold accrues enormous importance due to its national and international demand.
Under the new tax regime, the GST on gold was fixed at 3% with an additional 8% tax on the making charges and import duty of 10%. Later, the making charges tax was revised and reduced to 5%. As a whole, the yellow metal has become expensive by 0.75% in the post-GST era.
A primary reason that accounts for the rising gold price is 10% import duty. However, traders have managed to evade that by importing gold from countries like South Korea, with which India shares the Free Trade Agreement.
QE or Quantitative Easing is a monetary policy that governments and central banks globally use to stimulate the economy. Typically, this policy comes into action when other monetary policies become ineffective.
Under QE, banks start printing and injecting money into the economy by purchasing assets. This method ultimately swells up the bank reserves and lowers the interest rates, which, in turn, increases economic activities. The recession in 2008 witnessed the application of this theory worldwide.
Central banks in major economies like the USA, Japan, and certain European countries started enforcing this system to encourage banks to lend. This economic policy shares a close relationship with the value of gold.
This relationship is inversely proportionate. It means when the injection of the paper currency increases in a system, the price of gold drops. Even though the presence of additional money in the system may seem like the gold price is increasing, the reality is quite the opposite.
When compared with other papers assets like stocks and bonds, the price of gold remains mostly similar or may go down in certain cases.
A concept to know here is Quantitative Easing Tapering. It means when central banks decide to stop printing currency, it creates a vacuum in the system. Therefore, less amount of money is chasing the same amount of gold. Consequently, the price of gold skyrockets owing to the laws of supply and demand.
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