Gold hallmarking in India: How to identify hallmark gold jewellery, know the Indian gold hallmark symbols, and how is hallmarking of gold done. Read on to find out.
How to identify hallmark gold jewellery: Buying gold jewellery in India is an all-season activity with the demand peaking around Dhanteras and during Akshaya Tritiya. With the price of gold around Rs 39,000 per 10 gram, one needs to be careful while buying gold jewellery from any of the neighbourhood jewellers or even big retail gold outlets. The piece of gold that you are buying could be fake or impure. Therefore, if there is one thing to look for when buying gold jewellery in India, it is Hallmarking. Buying hallmarked gold ensures the authenticity of the yellow metal and gives full value of the money that you have spent to own it. Making jewellery out of pure gold i.e. 24-carat gold is not possible hence it is mixed with other metals. So, if the proportion of gold in an alloy out of 24 parts is 18/24 parts gold, it means it is 18 karat gold. To establish and authenticate that a 24-carat gold piece that you are buying actually has 18 parts gold, the process of hallmarking is to be done. Hallmarking, therefore, brings in the element of assurance to the gold that you buy.
How is hallmarking of gold done
Hallmarking is essentially determining and recording of the actual content of the precious metal, gold or silver in any piece of jewellery, in the proportion of other metals. For example, a 916 hallmark will mean purity of 916 per 1000 parts, i.e. 91.6 per cent purity, which effectively is the 22-carat gold. The other 3-digit numbers indicating gold standards are – 958, 916, 875, 833,792,750,708,667, 585, 375.
Gold without hallmark
If you buy jewellery which is not hallmarked, then the actual proportion of gold and other metal is not known and you may be paying a higher price for something that you are not getting. Most jewellers buy-back gold bought from them at the prevailing prices. However, if you wish to sell the gold which is not hallmarked in another city or with some other jeweller, it will not fetch you the prevalent price as the gold that you hold will be treated as irregular or impure.
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How to identify hallmark gold jewellery
To identify hallmarked jewellery, one needs to look at the four Indian gold hallmark symbols on the piece of jewellery. These are as follows:
- BIS Mark
- Purity in carat and Fineness ( can be any one of the following)
- 22K916 Corresponding to 22 Carat
- 18K750 Corresponding to 18 Carat
- 14K585 Corresponding to 14 Carat
- Hallmarking Centre’s Identification Mark or Number
- Jeweller’s Identification Mark or number
If the jewellery that you are buying is not hallmarked, you may ask the jeweller to get the jewellery hallmarked and then use a magnifying lens to view these four hallmark identification signs.
Who does hallmarking
Such estimation and certification are done only by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and any jeweller who wishes to sell hallmark jewellery needs to initially get a license from any of the BIS centres and then get their jewellery hallmarked. Currently, BIS does hallmark for 14 karats, 18 karats and 22 karat gold jewellery only. As of now, BIS certification or hallmarking is a voluntary scheme and jewellers are not required to comply or sell hallmarked jewellery only.
To avoid getting duped, it’s better to buy hallmarked jewellery. By now you would have known, how and what to check for when you visit a jeweller next time.