Look for the hallmark and ask for the bill

Jewellers are advertising attractive offers for purchases made on Akshaya Tritiya, which falls on Tuesday. If you love to flaunt gold jewellery, do take note of the following. One, don’t buy an ornament without the BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) hallmark. It is important to know the purity of gold because it decides the price you pay; 21/18 carat gold costs less than 22 carat because of alloying of metals such as copper. A hallmark seal certifies the caratage of gold used in the making of an ornament.

A hallmark sign consists of the BIS Mark, the fineness number (916 for 22 carat gold; 875 for 21 carat), the assaying and hallmarking centre’s mark, the jewellery identification mark and the year of marking denoted by a code number. As hallmarking is voluntary, note that not all jewellers hold a BIS hallmark licence.

Two, when buying gold, you can also insist on a purity test before payment. Most shops today have an XRF machine for purity testing. Three, do ask for a proper bill. In case of a problem later, you would need the bill to escalate the complaint. If after buying the ornament, you suspect the quality of gold, you may take it to hallmark centres. The list of hallmark centres is available in the BIS website http://www.bis.org.in/cert/hallmarkass.htm

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