In accordance to Chinese traditions, a bride is supposed to receive a pair of 24k gold dragon and phoenix bangles, which symbolizes eternal love, as a gift from the parents, in-laws, and other close relatives on her wedding day. So in lieu of my wedding next year, my mom wanted to buy me a pair during her visit to NYC last week.
I originally told my mom that I didn’t want the bracelets because:
1. They’re old fashioned.
2. My wrists are too small to fit them.
3. I’ll never wear them after my wedding.
4. With gold at an all time high approximately $1,200 per ounce, a pair of bracelets costs about $2k.
5. Therefore, they’re a waste of money.
My mom, however, argued that:
1. It’s tradition.
2. Smaller wrists would allow me to wear more bangles.
3. They have sentimental value and they are heirlooms to pass onto future generations.
4. The bangles could be viewed as an investment to be sold in the future for a potential profit.
5. Therefore, they’re not a waste of money.
Neither my mom nor I could win on the points in regards to the aesthetics of the bangles since it’s a matter of opinion, but we did enter into an intense debate about the monetary and investment value of the gold bangles. jigg mentioned that buying gold bangles is not like investing in gold because if the bangles are heirlooms, they should never be sold; thus, I wouldn’t realize any profit. Second, I would lose out in paying for labor cost – for someone to sculpt the raw gold into jewelry when I buy and (if I were to sell) melt the jewelry into coin or bullion form when I sell (because I wouldn’t receive maximum value for the gold unless it’s in “commodity” form).
After visiting about five jewelry stores in Chinatown and trying on at least 20 pairs, I would say that I have grown to like them…I don’t even think they’re old fashion anymore. However, at approximately $2,000 a pair, the bangles were just not worth it. I asked my mom to wait on the purchase since the wedding isn’t until next year.
In the mean time, if she still insists on buying me gold, I’m trying to convince her to buy me a gold bullion instead – it’s so much more badass!