Dhanteras is considered to be an auspicious day for buying gold, silver and other valuables and is largely celebrated in North and West India.

According to jewellers and MMTC-PAMP India, the buying activity remained robust throughout the day at most places. However, rains in Bangalore and other parts of South India affected the demand to some extent.

"It was mostly gold and silver coins that were doing brisk business. Overall, the demand was more or less at last year's level," said All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) Chairman Sreedhar G V.

"The sales are likely to be 15-20 per cent higher than last year. Much of the sales were coins in smaller denominations. The lower price helped boost the demand," GJF Director Haresh Soni added.

Echoing similar views, MMTC-PAMP India President (marketing) Vipin Raina said: "Consumers are buying for an auspicious reason. More than jewellery, there is a strong demand for gold and silver coins. We see sales of gold coins to rise by up to 25 per cent and silver coins may double from last Dhanteras."

There's demand for Ashok Chakra coins as well, which were launched recently by the Prime Minister and are being sold through 125 MMTC outlets across the country, he added.

Raina felt that demand for gold and silver, which has improved in the last few days buoyed by low prices, is 'certainly better' than last year's.

Stating that the demand for coins surpassed jewellery this time, Sanvi Jewels MD Santosh Srivastava said, "Gold jewellery demand was down by 30 percent. Due to speculation that gold prices will fall to Rs 22,000 per 10 grams, many were not buying at the current levels. As result, there was token buying of coins."

Bombay Bullion Association former president Suresh Hundia said, "There is more demand for gold and silver coins in smaller value up to 10 grams. The jewellery demand is not much despite prices being lower by Rs 1,000 per 10 gram compared with the previous Dhanteras."

Gold prices in the national capital have risen by Rs 120 per 10 grams today from the previous close, but the rates are lower by over six percent at Rs 26,230 today, as against Rs 27,925 on Dhanteras in 2014.

India is the world's largest gold consumer and imports a sizeable chunk of its total annual consumption of around 900-1,000 tonnes.

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