Zodiac again sparks inspiration fueling "gold rabbit rush"

(Xinhua) 16:58, February 10, 2023

BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese people maintain the tradition of buying gold during the Spring Festival, and not surprisingly, rabbit-themed gold jewelry took center stage this year.

At the flagship shop of Caibai Jewelry, a leading gold retailer in Beijing, shoppers stood in long lines to buy a zodiac rabbit bracelet from a gold collection exclusively designed for the Year of the Rabbit.

"It would be a flattering little gift for my granddaughter as she was born in the Year of the Rabbit in 2011," said a customer surnamed Wang, adding that she was also considering buying a piece of discreet jewelry, featuring a rabbit image, for herself.

Jewelry brands in China have always looked to the zodiac sign of each year for inspiration, creating adornments from necklaces to rings and earrings, to attract attention from consumers considering options for the traditional gift exchanges among family and friends during the Spring Festival.

"Customers also want a charm with their own zodiac animal, so relevant gold collections are always highly sought-after," said a staffer with Caibai Jewelry Co., adding that the number of customers visiting their stores during the holiday had doubled.

Jewelry designers have also spiced up their collections this year by using creative wordplay involving the zodiac rabbit, thereby transforming auspicious words into catchy names.

At Wangfujing Gongmei Emporium, a downtown arts and crafts shopping center in Beijing, a salesperson revealed that gold bars and inlay jewelry featuring the theme "wish you a boundless and wealthy future in the Year of the Rabbit," had become one of the most popular products. A homophone of the word "rabbit" in Chinese was used in the name of the collection.

The combination of traditional Chinese cultural elements with a modern touch in designing gold jewelry, has sparked a new craze among young customers, which is further accelerating a quick rebound in the gold and jewelry industry, according to a manager with Hopson Commercial.

Although having prepared a large stock of zodiac-themed gold products in advance, Chen Nana, assistant store manager of Chow Tai Seng Jewellery in Beijing's Chaoyang District, said "the collections were occasionally out of stock due to rapid sales after being released."

The popularity of these items has also helped to drive up the sales of other gold jewelry, Chen added.

"Sometimes, I was so busy receiving customers during the day that I didn't even notice that it was getting dark, and I almost got cramps in my hands after braiding too many studded chain bracelets," said a staffer at the store.

Gold tends to hold its value, which explains why people chase after investment-oriented gold products, as well as gold jewelry, according to a person in charge of the China Gold Association, adding that customers have been more prudent in their spending since the start of the pandemic.

Online sales figures for gold jewelry are also eye-catching. Data from China's leading e-commerce platform JD.com indicated that the turnover of gold jewelry designed for babies had more than doubled during the festival.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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