Apsara makes two pencils under this "Gold" tag, but they couldn't be more different. One is the standard Apsara Gold and the other is the Regal Gold. The Gold says it's "For Executives" but the Regal Gold doesn't mention who can and can't use the pencil, though the box says "For a Royal touch". But let's start with the similarities, which are few: neither has an eraser and both have gold imprints. They also both use the same wood, the type of which I'm not sure of, but I think is poplar. Hindustan Pencil Pvt. Ltd. owns tree farms where they source their wood from, and Poplar is one of the woods they grow.
The Gold has black paint with gold stripes down the hex edges. There are two versions I have that have different end dips. The box I bought came with black end dips and a white stripe between the dip and the body. The two that came with my Curios Indian Pencil Sampler had a gold end dip and no white stripe. I can't decide which look I like better. The paint on the black-ended-Gold was a little hard, and it made a bunch of noise in my crank sharpener. The paint seemed hard and flaky. It's not coming off the pencil, but there where flakes in the shavings, and the paint near the crown wasn't cut perfectly. The gold-ended-Gold didn't have this problem. Neither did the Regal Gold, which is dark blue with a sparkly gold end dip. It has a white base paint you can see after sharpening. As I said above, bot imprints are gold, with the Gold having the words "For Executives" and a little round logo on it.
The Regal Gold wins the core test for me. It's the "Extra Dark", which in this case feels like B. It writes well on Field Notes paper, which is one of my tests...usually HBs are a little light on that paper for my taste, and the Gold, which is HB, does write very lightly on it. Both have fairly decent point retention for their grades. The Regal Gold core is slightly bigger than the Gold core. Quality-wise, the centering of the Regal Gold was somewhat of a fail: I had two in my box of 10 that were comically off-center.
If I had to choose just one, I would pick the Regal Gold. I like the core better, and I'm sold on the color. There is something about black and gold that feels really old to me, and not in a good way. When it's gold with black accents (like the BW 530) I like it, but black with gold accents aren't my first choice and never have been.