Fewer giving gold as gifts at weddings

GEORGE TOWN: Weddings were always times when parents, siblings, friends and relatives would present marrying couples with gold jewellery.

Not anymore. Now, only parents and siblings still continue to grit their teeth and buy gold jewellery for newly-weds. Friends and relatives prefer cash packets.

Property agent Alex Ong, 43, who got married recently, said he kept up with the tradition of presenting and exchanging gold jewellery with his wife due to the cultural and emotional significance.

“My wife and I bought gold rings for each other, but we kept within our budget. My mother presented me with a gold necklace and got my wife a bracelet.

“My in-laws also presented us with a bracelet each,” he said, adding that they prefer gold to diamonds.

“About 20 years ago, relatives and even good friends would present newly-weds with gold jewellery. In recent years, they are just giving cash in ang pows due to the high gold prices.

“There are also concerns that the couple might not like the design of the gold jewellery,” he said.

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Wedding planner Beverlyn Tan said the tradition of gifting gold jewellery during weddings has slowed down due to the high price.

“Many years ago, gold jewellery was part of the betrothal ceremony, with a set typically comprising a necklace, earrings and either a bracelet or bangle.

“However, only the wealthy do that now. Modern couples, especially the younger ones, are prioritising the tradition of the tea ceremony over gold jewellery,” she said.

Nam Loong Jewellers third- generation owner Philip Thong said the cost of pure gold has surged from RM335 per gramme in January to RM385 per gramme in April.

“Apart from rings, traditionally, couples would include bangles, necklaces and bracelets as ceremonial gifts.

“These items can range from RM2,000 to over RM30,000 per piece.

“However, the escalating price of gold has seen demand fall these days. Only those deeply committed to upholding traditions are willing to splurge. Most prefer to spend on banquet expenses instead,” he said.

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