It’s raining discounts for gold purchases this festival season, as banks and other financial institutions are selling the precious metal coins at up to 8 per cent lower prices than the prevailing market rates.

For online purchases, the top private sector bank ICICI Bank is offering discount of 3-8 per cent on 24-carat gold coins of various denominations under its ‘Pure Gold’ offer.

“Existing ICICI Bank customers have to log-in to ICICI Bank Net Banking and complete the online formalities for ordering gold,” a bank executive said.

The customer can visit the selected branch the same day to take delivery of the gold coin by producing a valid ID proof, he said, while adding that the delivery for gold booked online can be taken in 64 cities.

The World Gold Council in partnership with India Post and Reliance Money is offering customers a special discount of 7 per cent on purchase of gold coins from India Post offices across India in the festive season.

Until December 31, customers can purchase 99.9 per cent pure, Swiss manufactured 24-carat gold coins in different denominations from over 1,100 identified India Post outlets across the country at 7 per cent lower prices.

Gold sales generally grows considerably during over a month-long festival season, which comprises Dussehra on October 24, Dhanteras on November 11, followed by Diwali on November 13.

Annually, Indians buy an estimated $15 billion worth gold bars and coins or roughly 270 tonnes. Gold coins form around at least 50-60 per cent of the total gold demand.

State-run banks like Punjab National Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce are also giving hefty rebates of 3-6 per cent on single physical purchase of a bunch of coins of any denomination by a single purchaser on a day.

Despite spot gold prices ruling at around Rs 31,000-mark for 10 gm, experts feel that Indians will continue to invest in the precious metal.

“If we see the Indian markets, here gold is culture. It’s an age old tradition of buying gold on auspicious occasions like Akshaya Tritiya, Dhanteras and Diwali. Moreover, keeping the price movements in mind, many believe that prices of gold will always reach new heights,” RiddiSiddhi Bullions Managing Director Prithviraj Kothari said.