How to identify the quality of gold in 2022

The purity of gold purchased by you is certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), a government agency. Hallmarking is the technique of verifying the purity of gold. The hallmarking scheme has two primary aims, according to the BIS website:

a) To safeguard the public from adulteration.
b) To compel producers to adhere to legal fineness/purity criteria.
From June 16, 2021, jewellers will be required to sell you only hallmarked gold.

How Is Gold Purity Determined?
Perhaps you’ve heard of karat (abbreviated K or kt), the most common unit of gold purity measurement. Karat is a unit of measurement that ranges from 0 to 24. A one-karat piece of jewellery, for example, is made up of one part gold and 23 parts other metals or alloys. Purity can alternatively be expressed as a percentage or as a number of parts per thousand. Divide the carat number by 24 and multiply the result by 100 to convert karats to percentage.

For example, divide 20 by 24 to get the gold percentage in your 20-karat ring, which is 0.833, or 83.3 percent gold content (which also translates to 833 parts per thousand).

The majority of gold home testing kits work as follows:
To begin, rub your gold ring or other gold jewellery against the testing stone included in the kit. On the stone’s surface, the jewellery will leave a gold mark. Then, using one of the bottles with the lowest karat number on the label, apply a small amount of acid to the gold mark. The karat of the gold is smaller than the karat number on the bottle’s label if the mark changes colour or vanishes gradually. If the mark very slightly changes colour, it has the same or almost the same carat as the label on the bottle claims. (Around +/-1 karat accuracy is to be expected.)

If the colour of the mark does not change, the gold has a greater karat than the number on the bottle’s label, and you should try a bottle with the next higher karat number. It is recommended that you begin with the bottle with the lowest karat number and work your way up to the highest karat bottle until you find the ring’s true karat. Although particular directions and details may differ, this is the core premise underpinning most gold testing kits that use nitric acid.

What is the best way to determine the purity of gold?
Purchasing gold in whatever form may appear to be a simple and routine job. However, if you don’t know anything about the gold you’re buying, the transaction could be useless. After all, purchasing gold isn’t a simple task. However, it isn’t a really difficult task. All you have to do now is make sure you’re buying something genuine and useful. So, how do you know if the gold you’re about to purchase or have already purchased is pure?

There is a simple way to assess the purity of gold jewellery or gold coins before purchasing them. A government entity called the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) goes through a procedure of labelling every gold piece with certain information to confirm the purity of gold that you acquire from reputable stores or online platforms. The Hallmark is a piece of information that verifies the purity of gold. According to the BIS, hallmarking is done to safeguard the public from contamination and to force gold makers to adhere to legal fineness and purity standards.

According to the BIS, there are four elements to check for on hallmarked gold jewellery to ensure purity:

Fineness and purity in Karat
The second mark confirms the quantity of gold purity in the jewellery, which is expressed in two ways: karat (denoted as KT or K) and fineness number. Because 24K gold is too soft and bendable to be used in jewellery, gold alloys with other metals such as silver and zinc are used instead. From January 1, 2017, gold hallmarking will be done solely for three karats: 22K gold, 18K gold, and 14K gold, according to the BIS. Prior to that, hallmarking was done at a variety of levels, including 23K, 21K, 17K, and 9K.

Logo/Hallmark of BIS
The BIS logo will appear on any BIS hallmarked gold jewellery piece, indicating that its purity has been certified in one of BIS’s licenced labs. This insignia will appear on every piece of jewellery or coin you purchase. In India, the BIS is the only government-approved body for hallmarking gold objects of all kinds to ensure their purity.

This hallmarking procedure is, however, optional, and not all jewellers sell BIS hallmarked jewellery. Some local jewellers continue to utilize their own in-house hallmarking, which is not validated by the BIS. As a result, before purchasing gold jewellery from any place, make sure to look for a BIS insignia on the piece.

Identification mark of a jeweller
The identification mark or brand of the jewellery store or online platform from which you acquire your gold jewellery is also placed on it. A BIS accredited jewellers or jewellery maker can use this mark. A list of jewellers who have been certified by the BIS can be found on their official website.

Mark of the Assaying and Hallmarking Centre
The third mark on the jewellery piece is the logo of the laboratory that tests the purity of the gold. Only BIS-licensed laboratories are permitted to inspect and mark the purity. On the BIS website, you may see if a certain hallmarking center is licenced or not.

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