What is Indian Gold?
We at Minar Jewellers believe in always providing the very best in consumer advice. We are asked on a regular basis if we sell Indian gold, Asian gold and also Dubai gold. Since there is often some confusion over the actual meaning of these terms we wanted to clarify what these terms actually refer to.
What do people mean when they say Indian Gold?
Shopkeepers and customers commonly use the terminology alike. The actual meaning behind Indian Gold is the belief that the purity of the gold is as high as possible. Different countries in the world use 9 carat, 14 carat or 18 carat gold, 21 and 22 carat gold. In South Asian countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Malaysia and Singapore where consumers look at gold as an “investment” The quality of gold used is almost always better than 18-carat gold.
This higher purity gold content has then incorrectly been labelled as Indian gold possibly be cause India is the largest consumption of high carat gold in the world and hence the misnomer. In fact all countries are able to make 22 carat gold and it is incorrect to believe that the only place in the world or the best place to buy 22 carat gold is from India.
Buying 22 carat gold around the world
There are several places to buy 22 carat gold - especially South Asia (e.g. India) and most of the middle eastern countries out of which Dubai has a very large consumption of high carat gold.. A common concern wherever you purchase the gold is whether or not the gold is as advertised - the 22 carat gold jewellery you have bought may turn out to be 18 carat!. Except in countries where there is high quality control and in the UK where it is mandatory for the seller ( retailer) to hallmark the jewellery before selling it to the customer.
The Indian government as a means to protect consumers introduced in April, 2000 a hallmarking system to certify the purity of gold –administered by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The BIS hallmark consists of five components - (1) the BIS logo, (2) the fineness or gold carat weight, (3) the logo of the Assay or Hallmarking centre that certified the quality, (4) the identification mark or logo of the jeweller and (5) the year of manufacture.
The BIS provides hallmarks for 23, 22, 21, 18, 14 and 9-carat jewellery - so it is important that you check the fineness mark to understand which carat weight your gold is.
Jewellery items that do not bear a BIS hallmark are often sold for lower prices which many individuals are drawn to opting for the cheaper option without understanding that there is no guarantee for what they are paying for.
The one clear drawback of the BIS hallmarking system is that it is not yet mandatory - it is currently a voluntary scheme and there have been cases of fake hallmarking of jewellery which the BIS have been working hard to stamp out.
Unlike India, the hallmarking system is mandatory - meaning that jewellery retailers are required by law to ensure that the gold they sell (above 1g in weight) is hallmarked by one of the UK Assay offices (London, Birmingham, Sheffield or Edinburgh) All of the Assay offices are overseen by the British hallmarking Council which ensures their compliance to the required high standards.
Not only are jewellery retailers required to have their gold items hallmarked but they must also display on their premises the statutory notice, which describes the approved hallmarks.
If purchasing gold items in the UK, consumers should ask for the hallmarks in the jewellery to be shown to them so that they are safe in the knowledge that what they are purchasing is as advertised.
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