Buying Gold this festive season? Ensure you get the bang for every buck. And, if you are confused on how to get the best purity for your Gold investment, the easy way is to ensure a hallmark.
For those unaware, a hallmark is a stamp of authority certifying purity. Usually, the certifying authority is a credible entity with a trust-worthy name in the industry.
In India, the BIS hallmarks are quite popular. For gold buyers, a hallmark may appear as a costly proposition, given many jewellers are likely to hike the rates for a hallmarked jewellery from a non-hallmarked one. But, as a buyer, let us inform you that it takes hardly Rs 25 to affix a BIS certification.
Also, a recent industry estimate found 20-30% of gold jewellery below the promised caratage and hence a BIS certificate is an easier way to ensure purity. A BIS hallmark is the easiest approach to peace of mind while buying Gold jewellery or even bullion.
A BIS hallmark on the jewelry/coins contains BIS logo and other assaying credentials such as caratage, logo of BIS, assaying and hallmarking centre;s mark and number alongside the jeweller's identification mark. Some of the numbers that are easily recognizable are 999 (24 Karat), 995 (99.5% Gold), 916 (22 Karat), or 750 (18 Karat).
So far, the policy on mandatory hallmarking has been shifted to February 21 onwards. For jewellery bought abroad, you could have standards conforming to any particular ISO standards. Old jewellery could have international convention marks as well.
For jewellers and assaying centres, the government recently announced an assaying and hallmarking centre - manakonline.in.
The Bureau of Indian Standards is a certifying authority for gold jewellery and Gold coins. The agency's brand (logo) is a mark of purity and commitment for consumers buying Gold.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution's latest notification says that only 3 caratages will be sold starting from 15 January 2021, however, until then Gold of 14K is likely to continue. Gold below that Karat is not considered by American agencies. Honestly, we do not suggest going anywhere below 18K owing to difficulty in getting a good re-sale value.
The BIS logo is clearly visible on any gold ornament. Here, use this image as a reference point.
If this festive season, the idea is to buy coins or bars, you should be aware that MMTC-PAMP assayed bars and coins are equally popular and credible. MMTC-PAMP is a LBMA certified good-delivery partner. Coins and bullion bars with BIS hallmarks or with refiner's marks or even popular jewellers may also be considered as credible investments during the festive season. Buyers are advised to seek a bill and also discuss buyback or exchange terms with the jeweller.