Small trinkets or ornate wedding jewelry –a guide to it all.
Many visitors to Saudi Arabia, including those on a religious pilgrimage, inevitably end up buying the yellow sparkling metal. After all, there isn’t sales tax or VAT that is charged in Saudi Arabia and on top of that locally designed and manufactured gold is sold at cheaper rates than one would find in many other gold jewelry hubs.
Whether you’re an investment savvy investor who wants to invest in gold ingots or a blithe shopper who wants to buy gold in forms of articles of jewelry , these tips can help you with your search for gold in Saudi Arabia. What’s more is that you don’t have to be in a specific city to purchase gold; almost a major cities in the country have enough of the glitzy metal to pander to your wishes.
Jewelry? Investment? Or an investment that you can wear around your neck?
Based on the purpose, potential buyers can be divided into these 3 broad categories.
If you want to buy gold solely for jewelry purposes then buying 18 or 21 karat gold jewelry would do just fine. An 18 karat jewelry item though of lesser value and lesser purity in terms of gold is actually sold at much the same price to that of the 21 karats one. This is mainly due to the complexity of design, as even thin 18 karat gold chains are much sturdier and thereby help in producing complex designs without weighing more. Plus, 18 karat ones seem less glitzy and are favorites amongst the youth, who don’t want the bling and the flashiness that a bright yellow 21 karat brings with it. There is also white gold that is becoming increasingly popular in the country.
Most gold shops sell gold coins and gold bars that are made of 24 karat gold. Some even come with a 999.9 purity standard. These bullions can weigh from anywhere between 1 gram to 1 kilogram. Investors can just hold on to these coins or bars and wait for the gold prices to increase and then sell it to make a profit or they can always save it for a rainy day as gold is a very liquid and relatively stable investment. Bullions issued by internationally recognized brands such as Valcambi and PAMP are available in Saudi Arabia. Some Middle Eastern based jewelry brands like Malabar Gold and Joy Alukkas also sell their own branded bullion coins and bars through their outlets in the country.
An investment that you can wear around your neck:
For this purpose, it is recommended to buy 21 or 22 karat gold that has little or no stones in it. Depending on the design the prices vary; Saudi or Bahraini designs are cheaper than Indian or Italian designs. At the time of resale, the design, premium or the number of stones doesn’t matter, all that matters is the final weight and the purity of the gold.
Where To Buy?
Souks are better than malls in terms of prices. However, in terms of high-end jewelry and precious gemstone based ornaments, it is the malls that offer the best variety. Every major city in Saudi Arabia has its own gold souk, Kandarah in Jeddah, Batha in Riyadh and so on and so forth.
Bargaining on gold?
Yes, yes and yes. You will not find any shop willing to negotiate on the gold rate, what you will find, however, is that they will be willing to negotiate on the making, wastage and premium charges. If they don’t budge you can always go to another seller who is willing to cut into his margins. After all, competition is cut-throat in the souks.
Know the Gold Rate
It definitely helps in haggling with the shopkeeper and may also help in deciding on when to purchase based on historical values and forecasts in case you are looking into gold as an investment. You can check the day’s rate on websites like Goldrate24.com or Livepriceofgold.com
When To Buy?
Gold prices are volatile. To minimize the variances in rates one should buy gold on Saturday or Sunday, as it is during these days that gold is not being traded on international exchanges.
Say No To Credit Cards
Cash or via a MADA debit card is the way to go. Credit cards charge extra fees that the store will not be ready to bear, so expect your price to magically increase if you are planning to pay by credit card. Someone has to bear the costs that the credit card companies charge and it’s not going to be the gold seller – well not in Saudi Arabia.