The Gold Man of Pimpri

If today’s gold prices indicate anything, gold is popular all over the world as a store of value, jewelry base, and status symbol. The country of India in particular places a high social value on gold. As a matter of fact, the largest gold hoard in the world is located in the vaults of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple which holds more than $26 billion in gold coins, statues, and other artifacts collected over the temple’s 300+ years of operation.

It seems in India, everybody wants gold and wants to show it off. It’s not uncommon to hear about everyday items getting a gold version in India, like Tata Motors’ gold-plated car. More recently, the “Gold Man of Pimpri” has gained a lot of media attention. A successful fund manager from Pimpri, India, Datta Phuge is obsessed with gold and holding onto his self-appointed title as the Gold Man. So much so, that he commissioned a gold shirt for him to wear about town. The shirt’s base is luxurious white velvet with Swarovski crystal buttons and 22k gold woven throughout. Fifteen goldsmiths used their expertise to craft the shirt, which weighs 3.5kg. In addition to the shirt, Phuge likes to accessorize with an additional 5kg in bangles, necklaces, and rings. At current gold prices, the ensemble is worth about $385,000.

Hopefully, his shirt size won’t change anytime soon!

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