Gold has been part of our culture since time immemorial. From families splurging on gold jewellery during weddings to festivals like Dhanteras and Akshaya Tritiya which are exclusively dedicated to buying gold, gold is not just a status symbol for Indians but also a metal which is considered auspicious and pure.
Here are a few things you should know before you buy gold jewellery:
Gold: The king of metals
Gold is considered to be the king of metals but sometime the king needs help too. In its naturally occurring form, gold is too soft to be used in jewellery. The gold jewellery that we buy is not pure gold but an alloy of gold (gold mixed with other metals).
Karat: the measure of gold’s purity
The purity of gold is measured in karats. 24kt gold is considered to be the purest form of gold in which all 24 parts of the metal is gold.
Gold which is normally used in jewellery is 22kt, 18kt or 14kt with 22/24, 18/24 and 14/24 parts gold respectively. As the karat decreases, the alloy becomes stronger and also less expensive.
White, Rose, Green and Grey gold
Gold in its natural form has a warm yellow color. However, different metals can be added to the gold to give it varied colors.
White gold is an alloy of gold and any other white metal like Nickel, Manganese or Palladium. Rose gold is an alloy of gold and copper. Green gold, an alloy of gold and silver and grey gold, an alloy of gold and palladium.
Colors like blue & purple (intermetallic compounds) and black (surface oxide layers) gold are also possible, however rarely used in jewellery.
There are hundreds of possible alloys and thereby colors of gold.
Hallmark: The seal of authenticity
On 11th April 2000, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) launched its hallmarking scheme. The basic objectives of the scheme was Consumer Protection. To know more, visit http://www.bis.org.in/cert/hallmark.htm
The BIS Hallmark consists of 5 parts:
- Logo of BIS Standard mark
- Amount of gold in parts out of 1000
- Mark of the assaying centre
- Logo of the jeweller
- Year of marking
Now that you know what you should be looking for in your jewellery, go ahead and shop!
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