22ct Indian Gold Jewellery in the UK

Gold jewellery has been an integral part of Indian culture for centuries. Many Indians who have settled in the UK continue to value high-purity gold jewellery as part of their cultural identity and for special occasions like weddings. This article explores the popularity and availability of 22-carat (22ct) Indian gold jewellery in the UK.

What is 22 Carat Gold?

  • 22 carat (22ct) gold is 91.6% pure gold. The remaining 8.4% is usually copper or silver alloy which strengthens the gold.
  • This high purity makes 22ct gold very soft and malleable, perfect for intricate jewellery designs.
  • 22ct is the highest level of purity commonly used in gold jewellery today. 24ct gold is 99.9% pure but too soft for most jewellery.

The popularity of 22ct Gold in Indian Culture

  • Gold jewellery plays a significant role in many Indian traditions:
    • Wedding jewellery is considered auspicious and a symbol of the bride's marital status. Bridal jewellery is almost exclusively in 22ct gold.
    • Gold gifting during religious festivals and family celebrations is considered sacred and precious.
    • Newborn babies are often gifted 22ct gold items like bangles, chains or pendants.
  • The warm, yellow tone of high-purity gold is preferred over the whiter tones of lower-carat gold.
  • Yellow gold is also associated with wealth, prosperity and elegance in Indian culture.

Availability of 22ct Gold Jewellery in the UK

  • Most major UK jewellery retailers like Beaverbrooks, F. Hinds and Ernest Jones primarily sell 9ct and 18ct gold jewellery.
  • However, specialist Asian jewellers are the best place to find high purity 22ct gold jewellery in traditional Indian designs:
    • Many cities with large Indian populations like London, Birmingham, Leicester, and Manchester have dedicated shops selling 22ct gold.
    • Online Indian jewellers like TJC Jewellery, Joyalukkas, and Malabar Gold also deliver across the UK.
  • Traditional designs like mangalsutra chains, thick bangles, jhumki earrings, kadas, naths and elaborate necklaces are available.
  • Most pieces can be customised in terms of gold weight, stones used and engraving.

Things to Check When Buying 22ct Gold Jewellery in the UK

  • Hallmark: All gold jewellery sold in the UK needs a hallmark from one of the four Assay Offices. This certifies the purity of gold and provides a guarantee.
  • Weight: Check that the weight matches what's advertised. Most pieces will be sold by weight rather than design.
  • Design: Closely examine the jewellery for the intricacy and finish of design promised.
  • Diamonds/Gemstones: If the jewellery includes other stones, check they are of good quality without flaws/damage.
  • Additional Charges: Factor in added VAT, import duties for specialist pieces shipped from overseas.
  • Buyback/Exchange Policy: Many shops offer buyback or exchange for a small fee in case you want to upgrade later.

Costs of Buying 22ct Gold in the UK

  • As 22ct gold has higher purity, it has higher value than lower-carat gold. Expect to pay 25-30% more than 18ct gold.
  • Price is calculated per gram depending on current gold rates. 1 gram of 22ct gold currently costs around £43.
  • Simple chains start from about £250 for 5-6 grams. Bridal necklaces with uncut diamonds can cost £20,000 upwards.
  • Bangles, rings, earrings are available from £500 onwards. But heavier, more elaborate pieces for special occasions can be £10,000+.
  • Making charges and customisation fees are additional costs. These vary by jeweller and design complexity.

Reasons for 22ct Gold's Popularity Amongst Indians in the UK

  • Cultural significance - Even after emigrating, Indians prefer 22ct gold for occasions like weddings, festivals, gifting etc where gold holds traditional importance.
  • Status symbol - In Indian culture, gold jewellery indicates prosperity. Indians living abroad still see it as a status symbol.
  • Investment - High-purity gold maintains value well. Gold jewellery is seen as a stable investment, easily converted to cash when needed.
  • Sentimental value - Passing down heirloom jewellery or gifting gold within families provides a sense of tradition and connection to roots.
  • Astrological beliefs - Many Indians consult astrologers who recommend wearing specific gold jewellery set with stones for benefits like health, marriage etc.
  • Auspicious occasions - Gold buying spikes around key Indian festivals like Diwali, Dhanteras, and Akshaya Tritiya, when starting new ventures or during wedding season.

Final Thoughts

For Indians, 22ct gold jewellery is more than just fashion or ornamentation. It holds deep cultural and traditional significance. With many specialist Asian jewellers in the UK offering beautiful 22ct gold Indian jewellery, this important aspect of Indian culture remains accessible to Indians settled abroad.