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Know How to Check Gold Purity

Buying gold in any form is an easy task. But with less information about the gold you purchase, the deal may become worthless. After all, buying gold or gold jewellery isn’t a child’s play. However, it is a relatively easy job too. You just need to ensure you purchase something tangible and valuable because many of us buy gold for investment, and it’s necessary to be transparent about the purity. So, how do you ensure that the gold you are about to buy or have already bought is pure?

Before buying any gold jewellery or gold coins, there is a simple way to check gold purity. Today, with technology, you can quickly know how to check the purity of gold jewellery. To certify the purity of gold that you purchase from genuine stores or online platforms, a government authority called the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)hallmarking goes through a process of marking every gold piece with some information. Know what is BIS Hallmarking and its importance.

This information called the Hallmark, certifies the purity of gold. As per BIS, the hallmarking process protects the public against contamination and necessitates gold manufacturers to maintain fineness and purity legal standards.

According to BIS, there are four components to look at on the hallmarked gold jewellery to ensure the purity of gold:


  • The standard BIS Logo/ Mark
  • Purity in Karat and fineness
  • The Assaying and Hallmarking Centre’s logo/ number
  • The Jeweller’s logo/mark/number
  • BIS Logo/Hallmark

Any BIS-hallmarked gold jewellery piece will have the BIS logo indicating that its purity is verified in one of the licensed labs of BIS. This logo will be familiar to every jewellery or coin you buy. BIS is the only government-approved agency in India for hallmarking gold items to ensure their purity. This way it will be easy for one to identify fake gold and make a purchase.

However, this hallmarking process is voluntary, and not all jewellers offer BIS-hallmarked jewellery. Some of the local ones still offer their in-house hallmarking on their jewellery which needs to be verified by the BIS. Therefore, before buying gold jewellery from anywhere, you must check the gold piece for a BIS logo.

Purity in Karat and Fineness

The second mark certifies the amount of gold purity in that jewellery indicated in two ways: Karat (denoted as KT or K) and fineness number. As 24K gold is too soft and bendable, gold alloys with other metals, such as silver and zinc, produce durable gold for jewellery.

*Know the Difference between Hallmark, KDM and 916 Varieties of Gold from our jewellery guide section.

Fineness number is another way to measure the purity of gold in jewellery, measured in purity in parts per thousand. In simple terms, it is another name for 22K gold. E.g., if 22K gold weighs 100 gm, it contains 91.6 gm of pure gold per 100 grams of alloy.

To understand these markings more clearly, here is a simple gold purity chart:
Markings Karat Pure Gold% Other Metals%

22K916 22k 91.6% 8.4
18K750 18k 75% 25%
14K585 14k 58.5% 41.5%

The karat and fineness number on the surface of your jewellery piece indicates that BIS has certified it to be of the fineness level/purity that is embossed on it as part of the hallmark.

Assaying and Hallmarking Centre’s Mark

The third mark on the jewellery piece is the laboratory logo, where the gold is assessed to check its purity. Only licensed laboratories of BIS are allowed to check the purity and put their mark. You can check on the BIS website whether they license a particular hallmarking center. Apart from the lesser gold karat jewellery, you will find the BIS marking in jewellery, such as:

  • 14 karat gold jewellery
  • 18 karat gold jewellery
  • 22 karat gold jewellery

Jeweller’s identification Mark

The jewellery store or online platform from where you purchase your gold jewellery also puts its identification mark or logo on it. This mark can be of a BIS-certified jeweller or jewellery manufacturer.The official BIS website has a list of jewellers that are certified by them.

You can also test the purity of your gold piece at home using a gold testing kit. This kit is available for anyone, and the principle is generally the same as that of professional karat testing.The kit generally contains several bottles with nitric acid of varying concentrations, and each bottle is labeled with a karat number, for example, “10K” or “14K”. Although specific instructions or details may differ, Most gold testing kits use a nitric acid function with this fundamental principle.

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