Buying gold jewellery in India is the most common thing for all class of people. But, do you know if your jewellery is not hallmarked then the amount you invested in precious metal is not worth.
First, let us understand what Hallmark is?
Hallmark on gold jewellery basically indicates the purity of gold. It is a guarantee of fineness of the gold as determined by BIS. In India, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the accreditation agency which certifies and hallmark gold jewellery. This BIS system of hallmarking began on April, 2000. A hallmark consists of carat, stamp of BIS, year of mark and jeweller's identification mark.
A three digit number on hallmark indicates purity of gold. For example, a BIS 916 hallmark means 91.6 percent purity of gold for 22 carat gold, 750 would mean to 18 carat purity.
According to BIS standards, the fineness marks are the 958, 916, 875, 750, 585 and 375 indicating 23, 22, 21, 18, 14 and 9 carat, respectively.
BIS stamp i.e. a triangle indicates that the jewellery has been assessed. Code letter represents the year of hallmarking and is decided by BIS only. For example letter 'A' denotes year 2000 and letter 'J' denotes for 2008. The BIS hallmark also carries the jeweller's stamp to indicate that the jeweller is BIS certified.
Importance of Hallmark Jewellery
1) At the time of sale, you will get 100 percent value of your jewellery if it is hallmarked.
2) The BIS hallmark jewellery is a mark of conformity of purity of gold and also a jeweller. That means you can take the quality of gold as to be genuine and guaranteed.
3) You can avail 100 percent value of your jewellery. And if it not hallmarked then you can avail 70-75 percent. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed gold loan companies to avail loan of the full value of hallmarked jewellery to borrowers.
4) Any person can easily distinguish a genuine precious metal from fake jewellery. Nowadays, jewellers also carry their personal hallmark but, go for BIS hallmark because it is widely accepted.
Please note, the charges for hallmarking are very nominal, so don't be misled by jewellers that gold articles become expensive because of hallmarking. These charges have to be paid by the jeweller or could be added to the end-cost of the jewellery.
Although, hallmark jewellery is beneficial to the every customer, people are not buying it because of lack of awareness. And jewellers are also not telling customer about it because they just want to fill their pockets by selling lower carat gold. Though our Indian jewellers are expert in creating beautiful jewellery, they are also expert in adulteration and it has proven many times. Most of us may have experience that we bought 18 carat jewellery by paying price of 22 carat.
That's why; simple self-certification by the jeweller will not suffice. Also, we cannot afford it as we are spending a significant amount to buy it.
So, next time when you are going for gold shopping just look for jeweller who is selling BIS Hallmark Jewellery and ask for invoice which will help BIS to resolve complaints, if any.