Rakhi or the symbolic thread that is tied by the sister on a brothers day on the day of Raksha Bandhan is an ancient Indian festival. The festival symbolizes the sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being, and the brother’s lifelong vow to protect her (more on Wikipedia).
However with all things symbolic – bling has made its way into this festival as well. It comes as no surprise given that Indians are amongst the biggest buyers of gold and diamonds globally. Combined with the fact that this Asian economy is still growing substantially – we have rakhis which are usually simple coloured threads in the form of gold and platinum threads embellished with precious stones (crystals, rubies , emeralds).
The most expensive of these, if reports are to be believed will sell for as much as $7000 (Rs. 6,00,000). Cheaper variants without the diamonds but with plenty of gold will sell cheaper for a couple of thousand dollars.
“Despite gold prices hovering over Rs 24,000 mark for 10g, we have been attending to almost a dozen customers every day. While most of them are buying gold or diamond bracelets, others are opting for high-end rakhis that cost anywhere between Rs 15,000 and Rs 6 lakh,” shares Delhi-based jeweller Radhey Shyam.
The festival of Raksha Bandhan falls on Saturday, the 13th of August for 2011.