Introduction to Jewellery
Jewellery is trendy and culturally significant among Indians and hence has the greatest industry based on the commodity. Be it gold, silver or diamonds, Indians show great taste for the precious metals and stones and attach great value to them. It is amazing the way jewellery serves as an embellishment and investment for the people in India.
Given that, there is always the need to be sure that the jewellery bought is of good quality. Standards for quality become essential and authentic bodies that certify jewellery that exist to regulate its purity. The process of standardization is done with hallmarking, which is applicable to different forms of precious metals and certification for precious stones. It is part of the curriculum of jewellery design courses to make students abreast with all the standards, that will help them to be knowledgeable especially when they are aspiring to be entrepreneurs.
In the process of applying standards to jewellery, hallmarking is a highly essential practice. Hallmarks, which are small markings made on jewellery made of precious metals like gold, silver and platinum, denote the true measures of purity of each piece. It’s informative as to the amount of the precious metal present in each piece and certain other properties. It’s also the stamp of trust and true value which will not be undermined at any place or time period.
Hallmarking is done by BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards). You will learn in jewelry design classes that this body is involved in a range of activities that are aimed at ensuring that only quality commodities reach the hands of the customers. BIS hallmark technically denotes and includes:
- The BIS triangular symbol
- The grade of purity of the metal
- The assaying and hallmarking centre’s mark
- Year of the marking in alphabetic code
- Identification mark of the jeweller
Hallmark for Gold
Now that you know hallmarked jewellery is the trustworthy one to buy, there still are certain aspects you need to know to be clear about what you are buying. Every jewellery design school is bound to impart this knowledge under its curriculum.
- Hallmark is issued only by BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards). The marking comes after stringent lab assessments and tests. No jeweller can grant a hallmark on any piece of jewellery.
- Jewellers are required to be licensed by BIS to be eligible to get their hallmark from BIS recognized assaying and hallmarking centres.
- Hallmarking does not increase the cost.
- Not all hallmarked item has the same purity. It has various standards of purity indicated by numbers viz:
- 999 for 24 carats (pure gold)
- 958 for 23 carats
- 916 for 22 carats
- 875 for 21 carats
- 750 for 18 carats
- 708 for 17 carats
- 585 for 14 carats
- 417 for 10 carats
- 375 for 9 carats
- 333 for 8 carats
Hallmark for Silver
The only difference in hallmark for silver is in the purity markings. They go as follows:
- 999.9, 999.5, 999 for fine silver
- 970, 925, 835, 900, 800 for silver alloys
Certification of Diamonds
Diamonds are the other major jewellery category that people buy from. Their quality assessment and certification of purity are done based on their gemological makeup, natural rarity and finished quality. Assessment of a diamond’s quality is determined by its properties namely cut, color, clarity and carat weight. The assessment adheres to international standards. Bodies like IGI (International Gemological Institute), GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and AGS (American Global Standards) can offer expert services to verify and certify the quality of a diamond.
In fact, the report from any competent certified expert in diamonds can be a valid reason to choose to buy a piece. The importance of trust in dealing with jewellery and precious stones thus creates the need to pitch in the service of competent institutes. Learning more about them can put you in a better place while buying or selling jewellery.