Home » China’s Gen Z Turning to Gold: Tiny “Beans” a Big Trend

China’s Gen Z Turning to Gold: Tiny “Beans” a Big Trend

Economic Uncertainty Spurs Investment in Precious Metal

by Victor Adetimilehin

China’s Gen Z generation, facing a challenging economic landscape, is discovering a gleam of hope in an unexpected place: gold. With a faltering stock market, low interest rates, and a sluggish property market, many young Chinese are turning to gold as a reliable investment option. This trend is being fueled by the popularity of miniature “gold beans,” tiny gold pieces priced lower than traditional bullion bars.

Gold Rush for a New Generation

The allure of gold for China’s young adults stems from a potent mix of factors. The stock market, once a hopeful avenue for growth, has seen significant declines. The housing market, traditionally a cornerstone of wealth building, is experiencing a downturn. Meanwhile, interest rates remain stubbornly low, offering scant returns on savings. In this environment, gold’s reputation as a stable store of value is proving irresistible.

Tiny “gold beans,” weighing just a gram each and costing around $83, have become a popular entry point for young investors. These pocket-sized gold pieces are seen as a safe and affordable way to invest in the precious metal. Social media is abuzz with discussions about gold’s enduring value, with many believing it offers protection against economic turmoil.

Gold Mania Sweeps China

This fascination with gold isn’t limited to social media. Sales of gold jewelry surged in December 2023, reaching a six-year high. Precious metals are now one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in China. Banks are even joining the gold rush, with some institutions offering their own lines of gold bean sets.

However, experts caution that there are potential pitfalls for unwary investors. Counterfeit gold is a concern, with some consumers unknowingly purchasing gold beans mixed with other metals. Investors are advised to be diligent and only purchase gold from reputable sources.

Lily Chen, a 26-year-old Shanghai office worker, discovered almost all of the gold beans she had purchased were mixed with iron, zinc and copper when she recently tried to exchange them for a gold bracelet.

“I never tried cutting corners by buying gold at ultra-cheap prices, and I made sure to buy from star-rated web stores. But this could still happen,” she said.

Nonetheless, the craze for anything gold continues to play out on social media. College students are posting diary-like entries on gold purchases, couples share how they repaired strained relationships with gold gifts — and metal resellers and collectors offer gold investing advice.

A Golden Future?

Despite these warnings, the gold craze continues to grip China’s Gen Z. From social media posts showcasing gold purchases to couples using gold gifts to mend relationships, the trend shows no signs of abating. While the long-term viability of gold bean investments remains to be seen, one thing is clear: China’s young adults are looking to gold for a brighter financial future.

Source: Mining.com

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