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The Royal Mint’s announcement comes just as the country’s Prime Minister, David Cameron arrived at Mumbai to strengthen and grow business links between Britain and India, now the world’s largest gold and gold coins market.
Up to 1918, The Royal Mint operated an Indian branch responsible for producing over one million coins every year, a demand generated by the key role gold coins play in Indian wedding ceremonies and festivals. Last year more than 250 tonnes of gold were brought for jewellery and to serve as investments, according to recent figures from the World Gold Council.
For the first time the coins will be produced under licence, with Indian gold producer MMTC-PAMP bestowed with the auspicious role using tools and processes developed in The Royal Mint’s South Wales facility.
British Prime Minister David Cameron commented:
“It’s great to see gold Sovereign coins being introduced back into India for the first time in almost 100 years. This will no doubt be a booster for The Royal Mint as they re-enter the largest gold market in the world.”
The first production run in April is expected to be around 50,000 pieces, all of which will be immediately available and exclusive to the Indian market; with further runs determined by the initials success.
Weighing 7.98g and over 90 percent gold, the 22-carat sovereigns will be worth approximately £240 each, based on current global gold prices. Each coin will carry an ‘I’ mint mark to reflect its manufacturing origin.
Deputy Master of The Royal Mint, Adam Lawrence said:
“The move to introduce genuine commemorative Sovereigns back into the Indian market will not only satisfy significant demand for the coin, but allow The Royal Mint to develop a new revenue stream.”