purity of goldGold is one of the favorite metal to buy in India. Whether it is some marriage ceremony or festival, people don’t miss the chance to add Gold. Indian ladies are more eager to buy Gold jewelry at any cost – whether price is Rs.30,000 / gm or more. In the recent times, Govt. and private companies has started many other options to buy Gold like Gold ETF, Gold mutual fund etc. but many people still go to jeweler shop to buy ornaments. We’re not going to discuss which option is better and which not as the need changes from time to time. You can not buy Gold ETF for the marriage of your daughter in next week.

The major problem in India is that some jewelers are not honest and they sell impure Gold to customers. And customers, with faith, purchases the impure Gold. They come to know when in future they go to sell Gold and they get shock of their life then.

So, to be on the safer side, you must learn how to check the purity of Gold when you visit any jeweler shop. In this article, we’ll discuss the same.



First you need to know that 100% pure Gold is commonly called 24 carat. It is so soft that one can easily mold it with hands. So, obviously, one can not make any jewelry out of it. The solution is to add some other hard metal with it like copper, silver, iron etc. to add hardness with gold. This way jeweler makes ornaments.

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That means if the ornament has 50% gold and 50% other metal, it is called Gold of 12 Karat (K).

Similarly, we have Gold of 12K, 18K, 22K etc.

Another important thing you must know that Indian Govt. has made mandatory to have all Gold ornaments under Hallmark.

So, you must see Hallmark sign on Gold ornament.

Remember:

  • In India, Hallmark sign is given by Govt. agency BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards).
  • The jewellery is NOT hallmarked by jewellers. It is hallmarked by specialized laboratories known as Assaying and Hallmarking Centres after elaborate testing.
  • Only the jewellers licensed by BIS can get the jewellery hallmarked for purity from BIS recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centres.
  • Hallmarking does not add to the cost of Gold jewellery because Hallmarking charges for Gold jewellery are Rs.25 per article only. Minimum charges for a consignment shall be Rs. 150/-. (Services Tax and other levies as applicable shall be extra)
  • There is nothing like instant hallmarking. Remember, it takes time to check the purity of Gold.
  • KDM jewellery is NOT hallmarked jewellery.
  • Always insist on cash receipt. It will help BIS to resolve complaints (if any).

The hallmarked jewellery does not necessarily mean that it is 22 carat purity.

Before buying, always use Magnifying Glass to check following 5 marks of Hallmark.

1. BIS standard mark.

It looks like:

BIS logo

2. Purity Fitness Grade

The hallmarked jewelry is available in different caratage as given below:

Purity Carat
958 23 carat
916 22 carat
875 21 carat
750 18 carat
708 17 carat
585 14 carat
375 9 carat
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So, 22 karat jewellery will be marked as 916, 18 carat jewellery will be marked as 750 and so on.

3. Assaying/Hallmarking Centre’s Identification Mark

This is the logo of one of the hallmarking centre. Some of the example of logos are:

mmtc cert_assay_10 cert_assay_15

The complete list, including their contact details, and logo can be found at http://www.bis.org.in/cert/hallmarkass.htm

(one of the logos as displayed on BIS website)

4. Year of Marking

It is denoted by a code letter. Some examples are:

‘A’ for year 2000
‘B’ for year 2001
‘C’ for year 2002

`N’ for year 2011

`P’ for year 2012
‘R’ for year 2013

5. Jeweller’s Identification Mark

It is a kind of some logo or code, which is unique to a jeweler, which they put on the jewellery they design and sell to customers. This will help them in future to identity their own jewellery.

Example

In the example below, you can clearly see all above mentioned 5 points on gold jewellery.

gold-hallmarking-crop

1. The first is BIS sign.

2. Purity / Fitness Grade. 916 denotes that this ornament is of 22 karat. (see table above).

3. Assaying and Hallmarking centre’s mark

4. Year of Marking. Here alphabet `p’ denotes year 2012.

5. Jeweler’s identification mark

Where to complaint?

In case you have purchased hallmarked jewellery and later on you found that you’ve been cheated, please submit your complaint to BIS at:

Ph. No.: 011-23235069

Email id: [email protected]

Still got any queries, please mention in the comments section below:

How to check the purity of Gold?
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