Before you buy yourself gold jewellery the most common advice that our elders and friends tend to give you is to check the Hallmark or Karat on the jewellery. Questions like “Is this Hallmark jewellery” or even “Are you wearing 24-K jewellery” are most common questions asked with regards to your gold jewellery.
If you do not know what these terms mean then you do not know your jewellery’s worth. It is imperative that you know of these terms if you want to know everything about your jewellery, its worth and if the jewellery is genuine or no.
Lets take a quick look at what these terms mean.
Karat – Gold in its pure form cannot hold on its own, as it is very soft, and the slightest of heat could melt it. Pure gold can be made strong and malleable when mixed with an alloy of material. The amount of gold that stays after the alloys are mixed is determined by the term karat or Kt/ K.
Ideally the terms tell you how pure your gold is. 24K gold is the purest form of gold with 99.9% gold; make it very yellowish in colour. However 24K gold is not the best buy as it is soft and needs a lot of care. Moreover 24K gold jewellery is always very expensive than it is other lower karat forms primarily because of the existence of high amounts of pure gold in it.
Others in the karat category is the 22K that contains 91.6% pure gold. This category of purity was first introduced by the bigger jewellers after which the smaller gold smiths adopted it. You will also find 18K that contains 75% gold and considered best for studded diamond jewellery. 14K contains 58.3% gold while 12K contains 50% gold and 10K contains 41.7% gold.
Branded gold jewellery today comes inscribed describing the karat used, if not you can always ask your jewellery about it.
Hallmark – When we think Hallmark the first thing that crops up in our mind is that it could be a maker’s mark or even a brand name. You will be surprised to know that Hallmark instead is the amount of metal that the jewellery is made of, primarily gold. Hallmark sign on your jewellery indicates where the gold has come from, the country it originated from, the metal content and even the date of manufacture. Generally it gives you complete information about your gold jewellery. The information is imprinted on your jewellery either though laser, stamp or even an impression or mark. Hallmarking as it is known as is present even in silver jewellery and depicts the fineness along with the karat present in the jewellery.
A central bureau called the BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) is an Indian hallmarking office that evaluates all the national a well a international gold standards and confirms their authenticity.
This useful bit of information about Karat and Hallmarking should be good enough to help you buy your gold jewellery.
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