The 5 Important Stamps That You Should Know Before Buying Gold Jewellery
All that glitters is not gold. So before buying gold jewellery it is wise to
educate yourself with the jewellery jargons which make you sure about buying pure.
How to identify the quality of gold?
The government of India has come up with easy solution, the Hallmarking Scheme which is
maintained by BIS - Bureau of Indian Standards. Hallmark seal consists of five components
which is laser engraved in gold jewellery.
What do 916 mean?
The fineness of gold is measured in Karats. 24 karat is pure gold (i.e. all 24 parts are gold) . Since pure gold is very soft it is not fit for making jewellery, Pure gold is mixed with other metals to give strength .The gold which is normally used in jewellery are 22kt, 18kt or 14kt.
22karat - 22 parts gold and 2 parts other metal - 22/24 karat gives 916 (i.e. Amount in parts out of 1000) . Similarly 18/24 karat gives 750 and so on. Gold used in diamond are mostly of 18 karat to make it strong for the metal to withhold the diamond.
Rose gold, White gold, Green gold and Grey gold
Gold is normally of warm yellow color, but addition of other metals changes its color.
White Gold: Gold + Nickel/Manganese/Palladium
Rose Gold: Gold + Copper
Green Gold: Gold + Silver
Grey Gold: Gold + Palladium
Many other colors like purple,blue and black also possible by mixing different intermetallic compounds and surface treatments.
KDM and Non - KDM jewellery
KDM means cadmium which is an alloy mixed with gold in the ratio of 92 % + 8 %. Shortly after introduction BIS found that cadmium causes health problems for the artisans working with it and banned it use. After the ban, other metals such as zinc and copper are being used with gold to maintain its strength. But the term KDM hung on and still commonly used by many.
Year of Marking
Year of marking denotes which year the jewellery is verified for Hallmarking. BIS launched Hallmarking scheme in the year 2000. Hence A denotes 2000, B denotes 2006,.. U denotes 2016, V denotes 2017 and so on.
Assaying Centers are those who verify the jewellery and give punches or laser engravings. They are the private undertakings approved and monitored by BIS. Assaying cost is very cheap in India (around 5 to 10 rupees) comparing to what you spend for buying jewellery. So before buying any jewellery always ask for the hallmark.
Whether Hallmarking symbols can be duplicated?
Yes, it can be easily duplicated. However BIS often verifies the quality by raiding and collecting set of jewels from the certified jewellers. Any deviation in purity of jewels may result in the cancellation of the license and penalties under BIS Act.
Is Hallmarking only for Gold?
No, Hallmarking is also done for platinum and silver, which we cover in upcoming articles.
Next article will be about various jewel types and their difference (Polki,Uncut,Kundan,Antique,Temple,Nagas etc..).
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