The future for rare collectible jewellery is looking better than ever in China.

The People's Republic has emerged as the world number one in the yellow metal market, reports Commodity Online in Mumbai.

This coincides with India, the world's biggest consumer of gold, shying away from buying gold jewellery.

China's gold mining output overtook South Africa, becoming the world number one in 2008. In 2009, gold demand across China, Taiwan and Hong Kong rose 4% annually to 78.7 tonnes between April and July.

According to the report, demand for gold jewellery in China grew in the second quarter, driven mainly by the country's better-than-expected economic growth.

Gold rings trade

In China, and India, it has long been the norm for people to invest their money into gold and jewellery; for its portability, and because many people don't have bank accounts.

Mirroring strong demand from investors across the Western world, investment demand for gold rose 47% on the Chinese mainland, up to 17.1 tonnes in the second quarter.

Chinese gold consumers were the hungriest worldwide between April and July. China's 24-carat gold market is the most resilient, while demand for 18-carat jewelry has eased.

Overall, the Republic's economy grew 7.1% in the first half of the year, with better-than-expected growth of 7.9% annualized in the second quarter.

The Chinese mainland stands out in comparison to the 26% decline recorded across the rest of the world.

The relative stability of the Yuan, plus China's continuing economic growth, have been instrumental in propping up jewellery demand, according to the World Gold Council (WGC), analysing data from the GFMS consultancy in London.

China's mainland has proven to be the most resilient among global jewellery markets, said the WGC - and is therefore the place to watch for collectors of rare gold jewellery and vintage watches.

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