Gold Producers Join Branding Craze

June 16, 1999

Gold Producers Join Branding Craze

In the midst of the furor over De Beers' plans to brand diamonds, a South African mining company is using the same strategy to fight dipping gold prices.

Consolidated Bullion Ltd., a subsidiary of Consolidated African Mines Ltd. (not affiliated with De Beers Consolidated Mines), launched the RA brand of gold in May. The brand indicates that the gold was mined in Africa and refined in the Rand Refinery, which processes more than 35% of the above-ground gold stocks in the world, according to the Bloomberg.com newswire.

The company hopes to encourage jewelers to buy South African gold and mark their jewelry with the RA brand, thereby allowing for higher profit margins. "Consumers are becoming more discerning and are looking for quality and branding assurance," Consolidated Bullion Managing Director Sarah Da Vanzo told the Financial Times World Gold Conference in London.

As markets anticipated gold sales by several governments, gold prices fell to their lowest points in 20 years last week, the newswire reports. In response, gold producers worldwide are hiking their marketing budgets to promote their gold as a high-quality alternative to scrap.

- by Stacey King