It is deeply valued both for its cultural ties and inherent worth as well as for being a provider of security and a symbol of prosperity, passed on for generations.
The report said rural and urban consumers share positive attitudes towards gold but for different reasons. Urban women tend to focus on the sense of security that gold brings, highlighting its role as a display of wealth as well as a store of value.
Rural Indian women place greater emphasis on gold's widespread acceptability and its aspirational qualities, viewing it as a means of commanding respect.
But gold is not currently meeting the significant needs for self-expression and prestige. Gold is not resonating with the desire for self-expression and prestige when it comes to factors that motivate fashion and lifestyle buying.
"This research shows us that consumer tastes are evolving, and there is a risk of gold jewellery losing its connection with younger audiences as other brands vie for the attention of the millennial generation," said P R Somasundaram, Managing Director for India at WGC.
"Gold jewellery faces challenges from perceptions that it is a traditional necessity and not versatile enough for the modern Indian women," he said.
The report shows the importance of establishing modern, relevant brands, that can resonate with consumers through compelling marketing campaigns, said Somasundaram.
The report's research survey was conducted in partnership with global research agency Hall & Partners. It captured the opinions of more than 6,000 global high-end fashion and lifestyle consumers. At least 2,000 females aged 18 to 65 were surveyed in each of the largest gold jewellery markets: India, China and the United States.
Within India, 1,017 face-to-face interviews with rural consumers and 1,023 online interviews with urban consumers were conducted.