There’s no denying that gold occupies a special place in the heart of jewellery lovers. Be it that trendy pair of earrings that you don’t feel like taking off or that ring from your grandma’s collection that you love flaunting every now and then, gold ornaments often become an extension of your persona. But how well do you know your gold jewellery? How do you assess whether the lovely gold pendant or the diamond-studded necklace you are planning to buy is pure or not? What is the way to determine the purity of gold? BIS Hallmark certification is your answer to all such queries.
What is BIS Hallmark?
They say all that glitters is not gold. And true that! The yellow metal is hugely popular in our country. However, many buyers are not aware of the standards of its quality. Naturally, sellers often try to dupe their customers with low-quality gold and jewellery. Hallmarking is a means to safeguard the interest of the buyers. BIS Hallmark is a system that helps you determine the purity of gold and silver jewels sold in the country. It is a certification issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the national standards organisation in India. The certification given by this body, which is called BIS Hallmark Certificate, confirms that a piece of gold jewel adheres to the standards set by BIS.
In India, hallmarking of gold is not a very old concept. It started in April 2000. Prior to this, buyers didn’t have a sure shot way of determining the purity of gold. Hallmarked gold ensures that the metal used to make the ornament conforms to international and national standards of purity and fineness. No wonder, the BIS hallmarking has become the benchmark of trust for a large number of gold buyers in the country.
Why Go For Hallmarked Gold?
In our country, and in many parts of the world, gold is not just a means to adorn bodies. It is one of the best modes of investment as well. Since the ancient times, parents have been gifting gold ornaments to their daughters during their wedding. It is given as a form of security. If you look at it, you can see that gold is an integral part of every wise investor’s portfolio.
But in the absence of any method to determine the purity of the metal, the buyer is always at a risk. As a buyer, you will have to accept the quality of the metal as per the claims of your jewellery. Gold is a precious metal. If you are investing your money to buy it, why not be sure about its quality? This way, you will know that the metal you are buying is worth the money you are spending on it. When you buy gold hallmarked by the Bureau of Indian Standards, you can be about the quality of the metal. So, whether you are buying gold bangles or diamond nose pins or anything else, always go for hallmarked items.
What is the Importance of Hallmark Certification?
No one can determine the purity of gold touching or looking at it. Even experienced jewellers can’t assess the purity of gold without proper evaluation. Two gold ornaments may be of same design and style, but they can greatly vary in value due to the difference in gold purity. A hallmark certification can resolve all such issues. It can provide all the necessary details and confirm the purity of the gold.
Now, imagine that you are planning to sell your necklace or bangle. Note that self-certification by a jeweller won’t help if you decide to exchange your gold at another jeweller. But if you are armed with a hallmark certification, you won’t have to worry. Hallmark spells trust and confidence in the gold jewellery industry. Not just buyers, even sellers accept it.
Can Any Jeweller Acquire a Hallmark for Their Gold Items?
No, only BIS certified jewellers can do so. That’s why it’s better to buy your gold items from reputed jewellers who offer hallmarked products.
What Does a BIS Hallmark Consist of?
BIS Hallmark for gold items consists of five components or marks. The presence of these marks on your gold indicates that the metal conforms to the purity standards laid out by the Bureau of Indian Standards. These marks are:
BIS Standard Mark: It is a triangular mark. It indicates that a third party assessor has done the hallmarking after proper evaluation and confirms the purity of the metal.
Purity Grade: It is a fineness number that corresponds to the carat value of gold. The word carat or karat is an indication of the purity of gold. In its purest form, gold exists as a 24 carat or 24k metal. But 24k gold is not suitable for making gold ornaments, so it is often mixed with other metals to form strong and durable alloys. In India, the carat value of gold ornaments usually ranges from 22k to 14k and is measured in three digits. For instance, a 22k gold ring will have a purity grade of 916. It means the purity is 916 parts of 1000 or 91.6%. Likewise, jewellery made of 18k and 14k gold will have a purity grade of 750 and 585, respectively.
Hallmarking Centre’s Mark: This is the mark of the hallmarking centre or the third party assayer that has been approved by the BIS. The mark is embossed on every item assessed and verified for purity at that centre. This is done so that if any discrepancy arises later, the item can be traced back to the centre.
Year of Marking: This indicates the year in which the item was hallmarked. The year of marking is denoted by a code letter decided by BIS. For instance, code letter ‘A’ was for the year 2000, ‘B’ was for 2001, and so on.
Jeweller’s Mark: It is the mark of the jeweller or the manufacturer of the item. Each jeweller certified by BIS has a unique logo that is embossed on their ornaments.
All these marks are clearly stamped on hallmarked items. Are you buying a piece of jewellery? Or are you buying a gold coin? Check the item carefully to see these five marks imprinted on it in tiny forms.