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Good Times for Gold Jewelry Makers in China

China's gold demand is likely to surge tremendously in coming years, with market liberalization and increasing popularity of jewelry.

Mainland gold consumption, including retail and institutional investment and sales of gold jewelry, increased by 13 per cent and 21 per cent in terms of volume and price respectively during the fourth quarter of last year compared to the same period in 2003.

Demand for gold jewelry drove the surge, partly due to the efforts of the WGC, a London-based non-profit organization engaged in promoting gold consumption worldwide

WGC teams up with local jewelry retailers and well-known brands to promote its recently developed K-gold, or 18k gold, products.

Promotion of the K-gold series of jewelry is based on the research on young Chinese people, who attach more attention to design, fashion and workmanship rather than purity.

WGC's figures indicate consumption of 18k jewelry accounted for 12 per cent of all gold jewelry last year, up from 5 per cent in 2003 and 2 per cent in 2004.

WGC's statistics indicate gold demand on the mainland was 70.9 tons in the first quarter of this year, up from 62 tons a year ago.

Meanwhile gold jewelry demand rose by 13.2 per cent year-on-year to 66.8 tons in the period, while retail investment climbed by 35.8 per cent to 4.1 tons.

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