Gold dolls to bring a sparkle to recession-hit Japan

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - A Japanese jeweller unveiled on Tuesday a pair of 24-carat, traditional “lucky” dolls with the belief that every economic recession should have a golden lining.

The gold dolls, which cost over $110,000 and weigh in at two kg, represent the emperor and empress of Japan and traditionally they are supposed to ward off evil spirits and herald the coming of spring.

Similar dolls are often put on display ahead of a festival in March dedicated to girls.

“In the past, there was a pair in each home and I believe it’s our job to illustrate these traditions in gold,” Ginza Tanaka General Manager Naoto Mizuki told Reuters.

“Whether times are good or bad, the lure of gold remains unchanged. And it is in these bad times that we also hope gold will give people glamour and hope.”

Like much of the world, Japan’s economy is in recession, but that did not stop Ginza Tanaka, one of the country’s biggest jewellers, from showcasing last week wedding jewellery worth over a million dollars.

The jeweller has sold smaller versions of the gold dolls in the past, and this year, it said the pair on offer were aimed at helping some people forget the “unlucky” financial downturn.

Investors worried by the faltering economy are increasingly turning to gold, a traditional safe-haven, and boosting prices of the precious metal.