Though the prices of gold, silver, platinum and diamond have increased significantly over the last one year, this did not stop people from flocking to jewellery showrooms in T. Nagar on Friday and make purchases in view of Akshaya Tritiya.

The spiralling prices and the fact that ‘Akshaya Tritiya' was observed over two days — Thursday and Friday — this year meant that people could choose a convenient time to shop. Neither the summer heat nor the prices deterred them. Though many who came on Friday to Usman Road observed that the road was uncharacteristically less crowded, shop owners said sales did not dip. Shops were open from 7 a.m. until 10.30 p.m.

M.H. Manjula, who came from Melmaruvathur around 9 a.m. on Friday, said: “I was a little embarrassed to be one of the first few customers here. Last year, the train we took to get to T.Nagar was full as many came to this part of the city to make their purchases, but this year the showrooms do not look very crowded.”

Though the Ravichandrans from Puducherry always plan a trip to the city around ‘Akshaya Tritiya' day every year, this year's visit was special. They were shopping for their soon-to-be-married daughter.

As the young doctor, R.Mrinalini, tried out a few pieces in the showroom, Mr.Ravichandran said many customers had booked in advance to avoid the rush. On whether the rising price of gold was a deterrent, the retired banker said: “Gold will be like that. Its price will keep rising.”

Traffic policemen posted in the area also observed that the crowd seemed far less this year. But it seemed to pick up after a few hours. J. Murugan, a shopper, said while the day had its “sentimental value', many also saw an investment opportunity. “Even if the price goes up, someone who would have bought 1 gram will still buy at least half a gram.”

A.Padmavathy, a State government employee, came with her husband and daughter to a jewellery shop in Mylapore around 9 a.m. “Though Akshaya Tritiya is being observed since last evening, Friday is an auspicious day and I decided to buy jewellery today,” as she made her way to office, an hour later.

For V. Subramanian, who brought his wife to a shop on Cathedral Road, the day was a convenient one to buy a gift for her, ahead of their wedding anniversary.

Real estate developers also used the occasion to sell property. A developer in Medavakkam had advertised that gold coins would be given to those who book apartments on Friday. According to him, 10 persons had registered. Some stores selling electronic goods and appliances also promised gold for customers making a purchase at their stores.

Gold Club of Chennai Chairman N. Anantha Padmanabhan said that with Friday being a working day and the temperature remaining high, customers chose to come either early in the day or late in the evening.

“We cannot expect the sales to be as high as it was last year. Compared to last year, there has been a 100 per cent rise in the price of silver; 70 per cent in diamond price; 25 per cent in gold price and 15 per cent increase in platinum price. We expect that we will get the same amount of business as last year,” he said.

Keywords: Akshaya Tritiya

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