Gold is among the most loved precious metals in the world. It's a wonderful ornament to wear as well as a great hedge against inflation and falling markets. Another significant attribute of gold is that it can be liquidated easily around the world.
For us Indians, gold is a symbol of purity, prosperity and opulence. But how well do you know your gold jewellery and what things should you keep in mind while buying gold ornaments?
Here's what you need to know:
- Understand that there are variations in gold that affect its purity, quality and price. The main factors to consider include purity, gram weight and design.
- Purity: When it comes to purity, most gold has a marking inside that indicate its caratage. Pure gold is too soft to use it as jewellery. So it is alloyed with a mixture of metals like silver, copper, nickel and zinc to give it strength and durability. The most common 'Carat' options are 18K, 22K and 24K. The higher the number, the higher the purity of the gold.
- Price: The price of gold jewellery is determined by the purity of the gold, which alloy it is combined with, and by the amount of skill and labour that goes into the piece. The higher the skill and labour, the higher the making charges.
- Colour: Gold has many variations. In addition to yellow gold, white gold and rose gold are also popular options. You can also find many two-tone styles, if you prefer a mix of colors. Combining pure gold with other metals creates a new and diverse colour palette. Mixing in white metals, such as palladium or silver in combination, creates white gold, now the overwhelming choice for wedding bands in the US. The inclusion of copper results in the soft pink complexion of rose gold. And gold can now be created in a spectrum of other colours, such as green, purple and even black. But the greatest demand for gold around the world remains for yellow gold, warm, rich, and subtle, the ultimate in precious metals.
- Identification: In many countries including India, local law requires that every item of gold jewellery bears a clear stamp indicating its caratage. This identification is often controlled through a hallmarking system. Branded jewellers usually stamp the jewellery themselves, displaying both their own identifying mark and the caratage or fineness of each piece. The government of India has identified BIS as a sole agency and the BIS hallmarking scheme has been aligned with the international criteria on hallmarking (Vienna Convention 1972). As per this scheme, licence is granted to the jewellers by BIS under the hallmarking scheme. The BIS certified jewellers can get their jewellery hallmarked from any of the BIS recognized assaying and hallmarking centres.
Needless to say, the jeweller's reputation is also important to consider. Buying gold is based on trust and you are building a lifelong relationship with the jeweller. Ensure that brand is well established and has proven reliability and authenticity.
Also, it is important to keep your gold jewellery fresh and clean, and always glittering like new.
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