One of the most precious materials known to man, gold is a much loved commodity in India, both in the form of jewellery and also as a symbol of prosperity. The warm and rich tones’ of gold have mesmerized generations of mankind since time immemorial, and still remains the most loved metal for jewellery all across the world. However, gold is not just beautiful, but it is also costly, and knowing all that you can know about this beautiful metal is important when you venture out in the online or offline market for purchasing gold jewellery. Our ready reckoner on gold below will guide you through your gold purchases such that you are never unsure about the kind of gold you are buying.
The price of gold jewellery is based on a few critical factors, and only on these factors. The first of course is the purity of gold, which is measured in Karats (not Carats, which is the unit for measuring the weight of diamonds). 24 karat gold is the purest, and is almost 100 percent pure. The other factor that determines the price of gold jewellery is its making charges or labor charges. The other things that add to the price of gold jewellery are wastage and taxes. Do not believe someone when they tell you that hallmarking will increase the cost of jewellery, because a single piece of gold jewellery gets hallmarked by the BIS in Rs.30 to Rs.40, which is negligible when you are purchasing something as costly as gold.
Purity is the first thing that you need to find out when you are buying gold as that is the only way to determine the price and the actual value of any gold jewellery. The purest gold is 24k gold, which is 99.9% pure gold. However, pure gold is too soft to be used for jewellery, and therefore has to be mixed with other metals like silver or copper in order to create an alloy which will hold shape and design. In India, the most commonly used gold in jewellery is 22k, which contains 91.6% pure gold. In America and Europe, a purity of 18k, which contains 75% gold is most common, which is why 18k is also known as Standard International Gold Caratage. Nowadays, with gold becoming costlier and western influences on the fashion and design scene, jewellery is being created in gold of all standards of purity, ranging from 24k to 8k. A ready reckoner on the fineness and purity of gold is given below:
The demands of fashion and wear-ability have made gold versatile, such that it can now be found in a wide variety of colors ranging from white and pink to green and black. Pure gold is combined with other metals in order to create colored gold. The most popular colored gold options that also look the most beautiful are white gold( created by mixing palladium and silver to pure gold) and rose gold( created by mixing copper with pure gold). Of course, nothing beats the warm mellow tones of yellow gold, which is extremely versatile and forever fashionable.
In India as well as many other countries, the law dictates that all gold items should carry a clear stamp that shows its purity or carat-age. In our country, the BIS have been identified by the Government of India as the single agency for hallmarking gold jewellery. The BIS Hallmarking Scheme is also aligned to the International Criteria on Hallmarking as determined by the Vienna Convention of 1972. As per the BIS Hallmarking Scheme, the BIS grants license to jewellers. These licensed or BIS certified jewellers can then get their gold jewellery hallmarked at any BIS recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centers. These centers are available all across the country. Any gold jewellery that you buy in India should be hallmarked by the BIS. This ensures that you are getting the gold that you are paying for, and also ensures the resale value of your gold jewellery.
The BIS Mark: This is a triangular stamp of the Bureau of Indian Standards and shows that the jewellery has been hallmarked by the BIS.
Grade of Purity: A three digit number that shows how pure your gold is. This ranges from 333 to 999 based on the table above.
Logo of Hallmarking Centre: This logo will identify the center where the jewellery has been hallmarked and evaluated.
Year of Marking: The year of hallmarking is denoted by a letter of the alphabet where the letter 'A' denotes the year 2000, 'B' is for 2001, ‘C’ for 2002 and so on.
Jeweler Identification Mark: Most reputed jewelers have their own identification of BIS certification, which they engrave on jewellery manufactured by them.
Gold Coins: Gold coins are not hallmarked; rather they are certified by the hallmarking center itself determining their purity.