News / Economy

    Rising Gold Prices Spark Demand

    Gold bars are shown at the Korea Gold Exchange in Seoul, South Korea. Gold's allure stems in part from fears that the world's major economies are dangerously indebted,  August 9, 2011
    Gold bars are shown at the Korea Gold Exchange in Seoul, South Korea. Gold's allure stems in part from fears that the world's major economies are dangerously indebted, August 9, 2011

    Multimedia

    Every new piece of bad economic news and every plunge on Wall Street sparks fears that the worst is yet to come.  As a result, many people are turning to one investment they feel they can trust.

    Gold chains, gold bangles and gold coins - all increasingly expensive.

    Still, customers stream into a Vienna, Virginia, jewelry store, outside of Washington.

    “I wanted to get a little pendant and a little chain,” customer Dia Majumdar explains.

    At a time when many Americans are selling their gold for cash, Indian-born Majumdar is among the many Asian-Americans looking to buy - for herself and for something to pass on to her daughter and grandchildren. “And those of us who have bought the gold jewelry know that they have an asset to fall back on," she added. "I still have a lot of my gold wedding jewelry left and I know in the back of my mind that it’s there.”

    May Jewelers caters especially to the Asian community.  Vice president Vincent Nguyen says Mujamdar is not alone. “We have people who save up for months and just come in here and buy a one-ounce coin for investment,” he stated.

    It is a big investment.  A gold chain that cost $300 a few years ago now sells for $900 or more.

    “A lot of our clientele believes in gold," Nguyen notes. "If there is a special occasion - it could be an anniversary, a wedding occasion - people buy gold.”

    For lots of Asian-Americans, gold is a safe investment, a hedge against uncertain economic times.  For others, the value is much greater.

    “It’s psychological, isn’t it?" says Larry Shinagawa, director of the Asian-American studies program at the University of Maryland. "More than anything else, you have the sense of having something of lasting value in a world that is so transient and so much in turmoil.”

    But Shinagawa says that cultural comfort is only part of the reason many Asian-Americans are snapping up gold and other precious metals.

    “There has been about a 60 to 68 percent drop in the amount of wealth among Asian-Americans in a very short time period of only four years.  Much of it is real estate,” he says.

    It is not just Asian-Americans looking to gold to preserve their wealth.  

    Demand for gold has been rising worldwide, India and China leading the way.

    And for many people, says Professor Anil Gupta with the University of Maryland Smith School of Business, gold remains less risky than many alternatives.

    “If I look ahead at least over the next two, three, four, five years, the likelihood of volatility in world economies, in the stock market, it’s likely to remain high," Gupta says. "And in times of volatility gold is likely to be seen as a relatively safe haven.”

    For now, that means brisk business for jewelry shops, like this one, where some customers are even passing on luxury items - like flat screen TVs - to get a little more gold.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8977
    JPY
    USD
    111.18
    GBP
    USD
    0.6834
    CAD
    USD
    1.3038
    INR
    USD
    67.139

    Rates may not be current.