Traditionally, gold is a popular investment option because of its intrinsic value and reverence attached during auspicious occasions. India consumes approximately 849 metric tonnes of gold annually, a substantial part of which goes into carving out jewellery or ornaments. An essential feature of gold in the jewellery segment is hallmarking. This article aims to elaborate on the hallmarking process and its importance.
What is Gold Hallmarking?
Gold’s purity is evaluated on a scale- karat. The scale has certain numbers- 10, 14, 18, 20, 22, and 24. The purest form of gold is 24 karat, which is too soft to make jewellery. Other metals are mixed with it to give it sustainability. The ideal form of gold for ornaments is 22 karat.
One needs to ensure jewellers are not mixing too many other metals into the jewellery. It is here that hallmarking comes into the picture. Hallmarking indicates the purity and fineness of gold. A hallmarking system aims to ensure jewellers do not mix a higher proportion of other metals and sell it as gold jewellery.
Why is Gold Hallmarking Important?
While buying/selling gold, the most important factor is the hallmark engraved on it. Here is a deep dive into the importance of gold hallmarking.
- The credibility of the Product – While purchasing gold, buyers can look for the hallmark to verify its purity. Understanding the purity percentage is essential for buyers as the product price hinges on it. Gold of higher purity is obviously more expensive than its lower-purity form. There may be times when gold dealers may portray lower-purity gold ornaments as superior purity. Hallmarking helps buyers avoid such situations. Buyers can look up the ornament gold rate today and match the purity with the corresponding price before making a purchase.
- Resale – Many individuals may buy gold to sell it later at an increased price and make a profit. There might also be cases wherein people urgently need funds and may resort to selling their gold jewellery for instant cash. Hallmarking plays a vital role during such times. When people look for the best place for selling gold, a hallmark helps them get a fair value for their investment. Potential sellers can bargain a better price out of a sale by displaying the hallmark that may indicate a higher purity level and, therefore, fetch higher returns.
- Loan Sanctions – While taking collateralised loans, applicants must pledge an asset as collateral to get the loan sanction. Such loans come with lower credit risk for lending institutions and may be associated with lower interest rates. Many banks might sanction loans on more attractive terms if the applicant pledges hallmarked jewellery as collateral.
How to Check the Gold Hallmark?
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) directs and conducts the hallmarking process. They use the following as hallmarking symbols.
- BIS logo – The BIS logo is a triangular-shaped mark indicating the purity of the gold item has been verified.
- Assaying Hallmarking Centre’s (AHC) logo – Only a few licensed authorities are authorised to check the purity of gold for hallmarking. This stamp indicates the centre where the purity of the yellow metal was tested. If there are any discrepancies in the future, the gold piece can be traced back to its respective testing centre.
- Jewellery identification mark or logo – Each BIS-certified jeweller has a unique logo they can emboss on the jewellery. The official BIS website has an entire list of jewellers certified by them.
- Purity and fineness mark – A three-digit number on the hallmark indicates the purity of gold. For example, a BIS 916 hallmark suggests 91.6 per cent purity of gold, implying 22-Karat gold. Fineness represents the percentage of pure gold in the gold alloy. Therefore 22K916 means 22 Karat gold with a 91.6% purity.
The primary aim of gold hallmarking is to lend credibility to the purity of gold. The hallmarking is inscribed on the jewellery and does not come with any additional certificate or document.
Buyers looking for the best place for selling gold can check the hallmark on their jewellery. Hallmarking depicts the purity of gold and therefore works in favour of both the buyers and the sellers to make efficient transactions. Before going further, you can check the ornament gold rate today to estimate the returns.