The word 'Dhanteras' comes from Sanskrit where 'dhan' means wealth and 'teras' is the 13th day of the Hindu lunar calendar. On this day metal objects or gold are bought.
This day is also celebrated as Dhanvantri Jayanti. It is the birth Anniversary of Lord Dhanvantari, an avatar of Vishnu, who imparted the knowledge of Ayurveda to people.
King Hima's 16-year-old-son will die of a snake bite on the fourth day of his marriage. After finding this out the son's wife decided to place a heap of ornaments at her room's entrance and narrated stories to her husband throughout the night to keep him awake. Lord Yama took the guise of a snake and came to bite King Hima's son. However, dazzled by the jewellery, he sat on the heap of ornaments and listened to the stories. This way, the new bride distracted Lord Yama and he missed the time set for taking the prince's life. King Hima's son was saved and since then, metal has been linked to good luck and success.