Faced with high premiums to secure scarce supplies of gold, relatives and guests at Indian weddings are having their old heirlooms melted down to be reused as traditional presents.
Along the narrow lanes of Mumbai's historic Zaveri jewellery bazaar, many shops display placards saying "we buy old gold jewellery", tempting buyers who face a $125 an ounce premium over London prices as the government cracks down on surging imports.
(Read more: India's gold fever cools this Diwali)
"My brother is getting married next month, and we require jewellery for the bride," said 35-year-old Shazia Iqbal Ahmed, who brought in bulky bangles and a necklace to be recycled.
"The family thought it was better to make use of our old jewellery sets for the new bride. We will end up saving 50,000 rupees ($800) on just the premium. It's profitable for us at the end."
About 1 million couples are expected to marry in the current wedding season which has 71 auspicious wedding days and runs through to May. About 33,000 weddings took place on Nov. 19 alone, the most of any day this year.
(Read more: Gold demand slumps as Indian consumption shrinks)
Gold is always in demand, with a typical gift of a pendant, earings or a ring, weighing 5-10 grams depending on financial circumstances. Parents of the bride generally give heavier items like a necklace or bangles weighing 50 grams or more.