Commodities

Jewellers' body to sell gold coins at retail outlets

Swetha Kannan Bangalore | Updated on April 21, 2011 Published on April 21, 2011

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Soon, you can expect to buy gold at a uniform prices across the country. And you can sell it without any problems at retail outlets.

This will become possible as the All-India Gems and Jewellery Federation, the nodal agency for the jewellery industry, plans to get into retail sales of gold coins. The federation is promising competitive and uniform pricing across the country.

Mr Bachhraj Bamalwa, Chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Federation (GJF), told Business Line, that banks price gold coins at least 10 per cent higher than what jewellers charge – a reason why consumers generally do not prefer to buy coins from banks.

But he hopes branded coins from the Federation will have greater acceptance among consumers, who are focussed on gold as an investment tool.

The coins will have better pricing, said Mr Vinod Hayagriv, Immediate Past Chairman, GJF.

Mr Ashok Minawala, Director of GJF, said that: “GJF-branded coins will be sold across retail outlets in the country. It is not just a coin; it will be a product – well-packaged and marketed, with features that excite customers. It will also have a good uniform pricing and buyback policy across India.”

The federation plans to invest Rs 100 crore on a slew of initiatives – from national skill development and artisans welfare programmes to consumer-centric programmes such as diamond benchmarking and jewellery festivals – to improve jewellery trade and retail in the country.

The skill development programme hopes to address the shortage of skilled people in the industry. “The programme will train 25,000 artisans every year for the next 10 years,” said Mr Bamalwa. Training institutes offering formal education in retail practices and manufacturing will be set up across the country. GJF also plans to look into the issues of poor working conditions of artisans.

DIAMOND BENCHMARK

On Thursday, the federation launched the Diamond Retail Benchmark – a price reference chart for consumers. The benchmark, created in association with IDEX Online, an Israeli company, is a “scientifically analysed” databank that provides the prices of diamonds of all sizes, quality and grade, in Indian rupees. “Markets trade in gold prices every day. But consumers do not know anything about diamond prices. IDEX has initiated this in America too,” said Mr Minawala.

With diamond prices now changing almost every month, unlike earlier when it used to change every 1-1.5 years, this benchmark would greatly benefit consumers, said Mr Vinod Hayagriv, Immediate Past Chairman, GJF. The benchmark will be available with most leading retail outlets and also online.

Promotional campaigns and jewellery festivals are also being planned, said Mr Bamalwa, who expects a buoyant Akshaya Tritiya and a festival season thereafter. “This festive season we expect a 10-15 per cent increase in volumes over last year, despite high prices,” said Mr Bamalwa. Prices are expected to touch Rs 25,000 (per 10 gram) by the year-end.

The gems and jewellery industry in the country is estimated at Rs 2.2 lakh crore (last year) and is expected to grow 25 per cent this year.

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Published on April 21, 2011
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