Christmas is a time for tradition, sure; and celebration, of course; perhaps even indulgence; but when one jewellers in Tokyo unveiled their festive centrepiece, it would be fair to say that perhaps, somewhere along the line, a step too far was taken.
We all like a good Christmas tree, and there is nothing wrong with stringently studying the pine quality and symmetry of a good Norwegian spruce. It has to be right. Even, those green fingered folk amongst us may too like to give it just a little prune for good measure. Decoration, of course, is where the kids come to the fore, and again, why not spend endless hours making delightful décorto adorn the tree to perfection, with style and class? It doesn’t have to cost the earth…
Or does it?
Solid Gold Sparkle
When the ‘Ginza Tanaka’ jewellery store, in the Japanese capital, unveiled their Christmas tree for the first time last week, it was immediately clear that someone had allowed the festive spirit to go to their head.
For this ‘tree’, was in fact a tree only through association, and not by strict definition. The wooden trunk had been replaced with pure gold, and indeed everyother aspect of it too had been. Astoundingly, the 7.9 foot tree had been constructed using nothing but an inconceivable quantity of pure gold, totalling a mindboggling 40 kg (88 pounds) of the world’s most widely appreciated precious metal.
Of course, they couldn’t just decorate this tree with ‘Poundland’ tinsel and barbells, and rather they too, like many of us, opted to make their very own Christmas creations. Did they use paper and sparkling glitter glue; cut out stars and circles; tie little ribbons around the base and make a pretty angel for the top? No. But what they did do was commission 10 craftsmen to hand make a vast array of Disney characters, over a two month period, out of; yes you guessed it, pure gold.
In total, the tree, along with decorations, cost an incredible 350 million yen or $4.2 million dollars to make, which is probably just a little more than the 20 quid you may be asked to pay at the local market, for your own festive Fir.
The Value of Gold
The opinion that people will have towards this golden Christmas creation will vary hugely, with some being spellbound by its luxury and others turned off by its sheer excess. The reality is, however, that the golden ‘tree’, unlike a real tree, is not temporary. Sure, you can plant the tree after the festivities are over, and perhaps it will live for centuries, but fundamentally it will eventually die.
Gold is a commodity that can be shaped into rings, necklaces, coins, dental fillings and, yes, Christmas trees. It can then be melted down and used again in a completely different form and for a wide variety of purposes. Throughout all of this transitioning, the one thing that still remains is its value, and this is permanently maintained.
Gold purchasing is one of the most popular methods that investors use as a hedge against economic, political and social factors that can have an impact on currency. It is seen as a good investment due to the fact that it ‘holds its value’.
This is not to suggest that the gold price doesn’t fluctuate at all, because of course it does, but rather those fluctuations are not impacted by events, such as; war, natural disasters, economic recession, or indeed an accounting scandal. Quite simply, historically, gold has been seen to hold its value more than other commodities, and too it displays a much sought after stability.
But what has this got to do with Christmas?
Quite simply, like all good investments, gold can be exchanged for currency, whenever it is required. Our economy is struggling, but in a year where optimism has been a buzz word, we still want to celebrate this Christmas in style.
Even though most of us won’t be looking to splash out $4.2 million on a golden Christmas tree, unfortunately, however much we try to budget, the festive season is always at least a little bit expensive, and January is often not the month to be checking bank statements.
The rules have changed, and no longer can we simply spend without consideration at Christmas. The economic recession has taught us all a lot of rather difficult lessons in over-consuming, and now we have to take heed of the things we have learned.
This doesn’t have to be seen as a negative however, and rather we can adapt and learn to thrive within our new environment. Especially for us shopaholics, it has created many new facets to explore within one of our favourite pastimes. Budget building is now just as important as bargain hunting, and it can truly help us to enjoy this festive season guilt and worry free.
Using Gold in Christmas Budget Building
Of course there are many different methods that we can utilise in order to budget build this Christmas; selling clothes, making crafts, car boot sales etc. One of the best methods within the current economic environment, however, is to cash in on our gold.
You don’t have to own a secret gold bullion haul in order to take advantage of this approach. Most of us have invested in gold at some stage in the past, perhaps when the economy was more favourable, and gold jewellery, watches, coins, ornaments and even dental fillings can be traded in for cold, hard currency.
Although, of course, some of our gold may hold sentimental value and thus not be worth the cash equivalent, many of us have old gold just lying around the house, collecting dust, and there is no better time to turn this clutter into pressies, parsnips and Port, than in preparation for the winter festivities.
So, although of course; family, friendship and good health are the most important things at this time of year, remember too that making the most of what you have, doesn’t mean going without this Christmas.
Bill is a freelance writer and blogger writing from his warm home in the UK this christmas.