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November 2008
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Response Feature

All that Glitters is not Gold!
Are you looking for purity when you purchase  gold jewellery? If so, ensure that you buy the precious metal gold, hallmarked by the Bureau of Indian Standards from Rishabh Jewellers and Rishabh Gold Palace , Nagarathpet Main Road, Bangalore to get the answer  to the   below mentioned questions.

What is Hallmark and how does it work?
What does Hallmark consist of?
What is carat and purity of gold?
What is the return value or resale value of gold you buy?
What are the main objectives of Assaying and Hallmarking system?
What is 916?
How to Test purity of gold jewellery?
How to buy gold jewellery?
Here is all you need to know about buying Gold.
What is Hallmark?

Hallmark has been acting as a safeguard to purchasers of gold and gold articles for centuries in various countries. In simple terms, Hallmark is a purity certification of gold articles in accordance with Indian Standard specifications. Gold articles are evaluated and tested at an official Assaying and Hallmarking Centre and then certified that the metal used conforms to the national and international standard of fineness and purity.

Who provides the Hallmark in India?
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the country’s apex standards body, is involved in the development of technical standards (popularly known as Indian Standards), product quality and management system certifications and consumer affairs in all matters concerning Standardization, Certification and Quality.

The BIS Hallmarking Scheme has been aligned with International criteria on hallmarking (Vienna Convention 1972). As per this scheme, licence is granted to the jewellers by BIS under Product Certification Scheme. The BIS certified jewellers can get their jewellery hallmarked from any of the BIS recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centre.

What does Hallmark consist of?
Hallmark consists of five components i.e. BIS Mark, the Fineness number (corresponding to given caratage), Assaying and Hallmarking Centre’s Mark, Jeweller’s Mark and year of Making denoted by a code letter and decided by BIS (e.g. code letter ‘A’ was approved by BIS for year 2000, ‘B’ being used for the year 2001 and ‘C’ for 2002). The marking is done either using punches or laser marking machine. The BIS hallmark, a mark of conformity widely accepted by the consumer, bestows the additional confidence to the consumer on the purity of gold jewellery.

What are the main objectives of Assaying and Hallmarking system?
The principal objective of assaying and hallmarking is to protect a consumer against victimization of irregular gold quality. Besides consumer satisfaction, hallmarking helps to create an export competitiveness of gold jewellery industry thus provide strong impetus for gold jewellery exports.
In addition, it develops gold based financial products that will help in mopping up the vast dormant gold resources lying with the household sector. It also helps develop India as a leading gold market centre in the world commensurate with its status as the topmost consumer.

What are the benefits of buying gold jewellery at RISHABH’S?
RISHABH’S ,  the BIS certified Hallmark Gold Jeweller,  provide clear indication of their capabilities, strong evidence of their commitment to quality, assurance of consistence in purity and quality of gold jewellery. They provide opportunity  to describe the way they maintain their standards for quality control and later demonstrate that they consistently do what they claim. They provide international competitiveness and enhanced customer satisfaction. They also provide third-party assurance & satisfaction that they have got the right purity of gold for the given price and protection against victimization of irregular gold quality/purity.

The demand for gold  in India is not price-elastic. But it is prosperity elastic - that is, jewellery serves as an identity marker and the prosperity is generally matched with the purchases of more gold.

Properties of Gold
You may wonder to know that this soft metal is very malleable and corrosion-resistant and generally does not cause reactions on skin for the vast majority of people. From any chemistry text book you may understand that gold has melting point at 1064 deg. C and boiling point at 2808 deg. C. As gold is very soft, jewellers mix copper, silver, palladium and nickel to harden it. The gold you see in your jewellery is actually gold alloy. The alloy, suitable for jewellery-making, will influence the final colour of the gold — nickel would produce a whiter tone than copper, which will produce a yellow metal.
Carat and Purity

The purity of gold is measured in Carats. The term Carat was used hundreds of years ago in the Middle East . Caratage is an important factor in buying gold jewelry as it indicates how pure the metal is. The Carat  tells you how many parts of gold and how many parts of other metal are in the gold alloy. Jewellery standards specifies the benchmarks for gold to ascertain its fineness i.e., parts per thousand. For example your 24 Carat gold is considered to be 999.999 parts per thousand. One carat is one part of 24, or 41.66 parts of a thousand.

Now you may understand the basis that there can never be a total and absolute purity of gold. Your 22 Carat gold is 22/24th (gold is 916.000 parts per thousand and other metals have 84 parts). Your 18 Carat gold is 18/24th (gold is 750 parts per thousand and other metals have 250 parts). Similarly your 14 Carat gold is 14/24th or 585.000 parts per thousand and other metals have 415 parts. Your 9 Carat has this ratio: 9/24th (gold is 375.000 parts per thousand and other metals have 625 parts). This system of calculation gives only the weight of pure gold contained in an alloy.

Acid Test Kits and Electronic Testing Kits
You can test the purity of gold yourself with the right test equipment. The acid solutions are marked with various Carat gold strengths, usually 22K, 18K and 14K. A touch stone is a ground black glass sheet or similar. What you need to do is go through the surface of the gold by using a file or blade in an INCONSPICUOUS place.

File or cut into it a small amount and then place a drop of, say 9K acid, directly on the cut. If no reaction then it is at least 9K. Use the next highest acid (say 14K). If no reactions, then try 18K acid. No reaction? Then you know it’s a least 18K gold. If some reaction, say the cut turns brown, the gold is lesser than your acid strength. Proceed to apply lesser strength acids till there is no reaction.

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