New Delhi– Indians are well known for their obsession for gold jewellery, but now gold coins issued by the government have also caught their fancy over regular, unbranded coins, a joint study commissioned by MMTC and the World Gold Council said here on Thursday.

The report titled ‘India’s gold investment evolution, Indian Gold Coin: An introduction to branded gold coins’ highlighted consumer preferences mapped against a wide range of parameters like awareness, relevance, uniqueness, size and accessibility.

The report is based on a survey conducted by Nielsen India amongst 1,180 respondents from eight top-tier Indian cities — Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kochi.

The Indian Gold Coin is among the key initiatives of the gold monetisation programme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 5, last year, and is the country’s first sovereign gold coin.

The research found that there is a clear preference for an Indian Gold Coin over regular, unbranded coins. “The most appealing characteristics of the Indian Gold Coin are its guaranteed purity, its standard features, government backing and the Make in India imprimatur,” the study said.

“Banks and branded jewellers are the preferred channels to purchase the coin. The most popular denominations are two, five and ten grams. Consumers are most likely to buy the coin during Diwali or as gifts for birthdays, marriages and other special occasions,” it added.

“As distribution expands, the Indian Gold Coin will emerge as the preferred form of gold investment in India as well as for purchases during festivals and for gifting on special occasions. The Indian Gold Coin also fills a gap in the international basket of national gold coins,” said Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council.

The Indian Gold Coin is currently available in denominations of five and 10 grams coins — a 20-gram gold bar is also available. The coins have Ashoka Chakra engraved on one side and the face of Mahatma Gandhi on the other.

“We have successfully sold Indian Gold Coins to the tune of 185 kg since launch. The research echoes consumers’ preference for the Indian Gold Coin as it is backed by the government and is a quality product,” said Ved Prakash, CMD, MMTC.

“Apart from MMTC outlets, the Indian Gold Coin is currently available at four banks — Indian Overseas Bank, Federal Bank, Vijaya Bank and Yes Bank. The total number of outlets is close to 200 and, in the near future, our focus is to strengthen distribution by signing up more banks and India Post to ensure it is available to consumers across the length and breadth of the nation,” he added. (IANS)