Acquiring gold, be it as jewelry, coins, or bars, may seem simple, but without the right knowledge, it’s easy to make mistakes. The importance of gold’s purity becomes even more critical when considering it as an investment. How can you ensure the gold you’re buying is truly pure? Dive into this guide. Here, we’ll outline proven methods to determine gold’s authenticity. By the end, you’ll be well equipped with the knowledge to confidently assess the true value of your gold purchase.
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), an official government entity, is responsible for verifying the purity of the gold you purchase. This certification process is known as hallmarking. As per the BIS website, the hallmarking scheme serves two primary purposes:
All gold jewelry hallmarked by the BIS will display the BIS emblem, signifying its purity has been authenticated in one of its licensed labs. As stated on the BIS website, it stands as the sole authority in India sanctioned by the government to hallmark gold items, confirming their purity.
Gold purity is commonly represented in two formats: Karat (abbreviated as KT) and the fineness number. While 24KT gold is recognized as the purest form, it’s often too malleable for jewelry creation. As a result, metals like silver and zinc are blended with gold to craft jewelry pieces.
The fineness number provides an alternate metric for gold purity, gauging it in parts per thousand. while 24KT gold should ideally be pure (1.0 or 24/24), practical refining processes mean gold typically achieves a fineness of 999.9 parts per thousand, reflecting minor impurities.
Based on the BIS website, starting January 1, 2017, gold hallmarking in India is standardized for three specific purity levels or Karats, which are:
If one buys physical gold of more than INR 1 lakh then they will be charged TDS at 1%. This amount can be utilized in the annual tax liability.
Corresponding to 22 Karat
Corresponding to 18 Karat
Corresponding to 14 Karat
According to the BIS website, a revision has been made allowing the hallmarking of gold/jewelry/artifacts across six caratages, namely 14, 18, 20, 22, 23, and 24 carats.
The combination of the fineness number and the BIS hallmark on jewelry signifies that the BIS has authenticated its purity, as denoted by the fineness level imprinted within the hallmark.
99.9% or Higher
The laboratory where your gold jewellery is assessed to check its purity is also required to put their logo on the jewellery. Only licensed laboratories of BIS can check the purity of gold. One can check if the hallmarking centre is licensed by BIS or not on their website.
The third hallmark feature on gold jewelry is a unique six-digit alphanumeric code, also known as the Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) number, which is imprinted or engraved on the item. Each piece of jewelry possesses its distinct HUID. To authenticate this code, customers can utilize the BIS Care App, downloadable on mobile devices. Within the app, the ‘Verify HUID’ function allows users to check both the jewelry’s alphanumeric code and its purity.
When you buy gold jewelry from a physical store or an online platform, it often comes with an identification mark or logo from the seller. This identifier might belong to a jeweler or jewelry manufacturer certified by BIS. For verification, the official BIS website provides a directory of their accredited jewelers.
On its official website, BIS has published a list of jewelers accredited by them. It includes both gold and silver jewelers who have received certification and licensing from BIS. The list details the jewelers’ names, addresses, and the expiration dates of their BIS licenses.
In today’s market, where the allure of gold remains undiminished, ensuring its authenticity and purity is paramount. The introduction and standardization of hallmarking by BIS has significantly improved the transparency and trust in the gold industry in India. Whether you’re an investor, collector, or someone buying a precious gift, understanding these hallmarks and purity indicators is crucial to guaranteeing your purchase’s genuine value. Always remember to look for the hallmarking signs, consult the BIS website, and use available resources like the BIS Care App. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently stride into the world of gold, ensuring that every piece you buy is a genuine reflection of your investment.