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Certification guide

BIS Hallmark

There's no denying that gold occupies a special place in the heart of jewellery lovers. Be it that trendy pair of earrings that you don't feel like taking off or that ring from your grandma's collection that you love flaunting every now and then, gold ornaments often become an extension of your persona. But how well do you know your gold jewellery? How do you assess whether the lovely gold pendant or the diamond-studded necklace you are planning to buy is pure or not? What is the way to determine the purity of gold? BIS Hallmark certification is your answer to all such queries.

What is BIS Hallmark?

They say all that glitters is not gold. And true that! The yellow metal is hugely popular in our country. However, many buyers are not aware of the standards of its quality. Naturally, sellers often try to dupe their customers with low-quality gold and jewellery. Hallmarking is a means to safeguard the interest of the buyers. BIS Hallmark is a system that helps you determine the purity of gold and silver jewels sold in the country. It is a certification issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the national standards organisation in India. The certification given by this body, which is called BIS Hallmark Certificate, confirms that a piece of gold jewel adheres to the standards set by BIS.

In India, hallmarking of gold is not a very old concept. It started in April 2000. Prior to this, buyers didn't have a sure shot way of determining the purity of gold. Hallmarked gold ensures that the metal used to make the ornament conforms to international and national standards of purity and fineness. No wonder, the BIS hallmarking has become the benchmark of trust for a large number of gold buyers in the country.

Why Go For Hallmarked Gold?

In our country, and in many parts of the world, gold is not just a means to adorn bodies. It is one of the best modes of investment as well. Since the ancient times, parents have been gifting gold ornaments to their daughters during their wedding. It is given as a form of security. If you look at it, you can see that gold is an integral part of every wise investor's portfolio.

But in the absence of any method to determine the purity of the metal, the buyer is always at a risk. As a buyer, you will have to accept the quality of the metal as per the claims of your jewellery. Gold is a precious metal. If you are investing your money to buy it, why not be sure about its quality? This way, you will know that the metal you are buying is worth the money you are spending on it. When you buy gold hallmarked by the Bureau of Indian Standards, you can be about the quality of the metal. So, whether you are buying gold bangles or diamond nose pins or anything else, always go for hallmarked items.

What is the Importance of Hallmark Certification?

No one can determine the purity of gold touching or looking at it. Even experienced jewellers can't assess the purity of gold without proper evaluation. Two gold ornaments may be of same design and style, but they can greatly vary in value due to the difference in gold purity. A hallmark certification can resolve all such issues. It can provide all the necessary details and confirm the purity of the gold.

Now, imagine that you are planning to sell your necklace or bangle. Note that self-certification by a jeweller won't help if you decide to exchange your gold at another jeweller. But if you are armed with a hallmark certification, you won't have to worry. Hallmark spells trust and confidence in the gold jewellery industry. Not just buyers, even sellers accept it.

Can Any Jeweller Acquire a Hallmark for Their Gold Items?

No, only BIS certified jewellers can do so. That's why it's better to buy your gold items from reputed jewellers who offer hallmarked products.

What Does a BIS Hallmark Consist of?

BIS Hallmark for gold items consists of five components or marks. The presence of these marks on your gold indicates that the metal conforms to the purity standards laid out by the Bureau of Indian Standards. These marks are:

BIS Standard Mark: It is a triangular mark. It indicates that a third party assessor has done the hallmarking after proper evaluation and confirms the purity of the metal.

Purity Grade: It is a fineness number that corresponds to the carat value of gold. The word carat or karat is an indication of the purity of gold. In its purest form, gold exists as a 24 carat or 24k metal. But 24k gold is not suitable for making gold ornaments, so it is often mixed with other metals to form strong and durable alloys. In India, the carat value of gold ornaments usually ranges from 22k to 14k and is measured in three digits. For instance, a 22k gold ring will have a purity grade of 916. It means the purity is 916 parts of 1000 or 91.6%. Likewise, jewellery made of 18k and 14k gold will have a purity grade of 750 and 585, respectively.

Hallmarking Centre's Mark: This is the mark of the hallmarking centre or the third party assayer that has been approved by the BIS. The mark is embossed on every item assessed and verified for purity at that centre. This is done so that if any discrepancy arises later, the item can be traced back to the centre.

Year of Marking: This indicates the year in which the item was hallmarked. The year of marking is denoted by a code letter decided by BIS. For instance, code letter 'A' was for the year 2000, 'B' was for 2001, and so on.

Jeweller's Mark: It is the mark of the jeweller or the manufacturer of the item. Each jeweller certified by BIS has a unique logo that is embossed on their ornaments.

All these marks are clearly stamped on hallmarked items. Are you buying a piece of jewellery? Or are you buying a gold coin? Check the item carefully to see these five marks imprinted on it in tiny forms.

International Gemological Institute

Diamonds are known to be a girl's best friend. Men love this precious stone no less either. But if you are not sure of a friend's nature, how do you place your trust in the friendship? Why go along with a friend whom you can't trust? The same goes true for diamonds and gemstones too. If you are not sure about the quality of your gems, why invest your money to buy them? You may even end up buying fake stones with your hard-earned money.

Now, you wouldn't want such a thing to happen at all, wouldn't you? So, it's better to be sure first than be sorry later. This is where a certification from the International Gemological Institute can help you out. This article will tell you everything you should know about this institute and its services.

What is International Gemological Institute?

International Gemological Institute, also known as IGI, is an organisation that certifies diamonds, gemstones, and fine jewellery. It is the largest independent lab in the world for the purpose. The institute was established in 1975 with Antwerp as its headquarters. They have offices spread across the world, including Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Mumbai, New Delhi, Tokyo, and several other places. Around the world, certificates issued by this institute instil trust in gemstone buyers and sellers.

When it comes to buying precious stones, trust is a big issue for the buyers. The experts at the institute help you overcome this issue. They carry out full analysis of diamonds and gemstones and provide detailed reports on the same. They analyse each stone and grade them accurately. The final report carries all details about the colour, cut, clarity, and carat weight of the stone. Such a certificate helps you to know in detail about the stones you want to buy. It serves as a promise of authenticity and quality. Buyers from around the globe widely accept IGI certificates as a mark of excellence. The information about the diamonds and gems is stored in their database. You may get a copy of the report if the need arises.

Why is Certification Important?

Are you planning to buy a solitaire diamond ring? Or are you looking for gemstone gold pendants? Either way, you can't overlook the importance of certification. Not all stones are created equal. The value of a precious stone depends on a lot of factors, including its finished quality. The natural rarity is another factor contributing to the value of gemstones. You may find that two diamonds or gemstones look the same. But their value may differ greatly.

You cannot determine the value of gemstones by simply looking at it. Often, gemstones undergo treatments and other enhancement processes. Also, there are synthetic gems available in the market these days. Even an expert in the field needs powerful tools to analyse and find their true value. For instance, a proper analysis can help to find out if a diamond is a natural one or not. It will also help you make out whether your gemstones are treated or altered. A certificate discloses all such things and helps you make an informed choice. So, when you buy that shiny diamond nose pin or the sapphire ring, you will know exactly what you are buying.

Are you planning to buy gemstones in future? Make sure that this certificate is a part of the deal. When you are investing your money, why compromise on the quality? It is the report card of a stone and tells you how good it is. Without it, you are just taking a big risk with your money.

What Reports do IGI provide?

IGI offers three types of reports. They are the diamond report, the coloured stone report, and the jewellery report.

Diamond Report: It is a statement of a diamond's quality. This report provides an accurate assessment of the 4Cs - the cut, color, clarity and carat weight of a diamond. It is based on international standards. You can get this report for a diamond of any size. At these labs, each stone is analysed by experts using latest tools and techniques. Apart from the 4Cs, the stone is also analysed for any treatment or enhancement. Reports for coloured diamonds and lab-grown ones can also be availed. The detailed report is presented in an easy to understand format.

Coloured Stone Report: This report states the gemstone's exact variety. It also tells you about the stone's cut, shape, carat weight, colour, and other details. If the stone has gone through any treatment, you will be able to know about it from this report. This report will tell you if the stone is a natural one or not. You may even get to know about the stone's country of origin, if you ask for it. Coloured stones are often treated to enhance their beauty and value. As such, it becomes important to have them analysed before you buy them. You will know for sure that the stone you are buying is real or fake.

Jewellery Report: This institute was the first lab to offer such a report. Experts here analyse both the metal and the mounted stones and provide a complete report on the jewellery. Details such as the content and weight of the metal are clearly stated. Also, the stone's details are provided. These include the stone's cut, clarity, shape, colour, finish, weight, etc. This means now you can have a complete report on any trinket. It doesn't matter whether the trinket has diamonds or any other gemstones. You will be able to get a full report without causing any harm to the stone setting. That way you can be sure of the jewel.

The Bottom Line

A stone with an IGI certificate will provide you all the details you need to know to make the right choice. On top of that, it will assure you that the price you are paying for the stone is justified. When you are shopping for a diamond or a gemstone, always remember to look for the grading report. One thing to note is that not every jeweller sells IGI certified diamonds. Go for a reputed one that provides you the same. In other words, make it a point to see the report before you buy diamonds or precious stones.