LONDON Feb 18 Britain's Royal Mint has started
to manufacture gold sovereign coins in India for the first time
in almost 100 years, it said on Monday.
Indian residents have been unable to buy commemorative
sovereigns since 1918, when the Royal Mint operated a branch in
the country, producing 1.3 million coins in a single year.
The first production run will be for 50,000 pieces and will
be available in the market immediately, the Royal Mint said in a
statement that coincided with British Prime Minister David
Cameron's visit to India.
The commemorative sovereigns will be produced by Indian gold
producer MMTC-PAMP using tools and techniques developed by the
Royal Mint in its South Wales facility.
India is the largest consumer of gold, with gold coins
playing a key role in wedding ceremonies and festival
celebrations throughout the year.
The country's gold medal market is estimated at around 80
tonnes a year by consultancy Thomson Reuters GFMS.
(Reporting by Clara Denina; Editing by Anthony Barker)