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.
Solitaire Gem Labs
They say diamonds are forever. If you are planning to buy once-in-a-lifetime diamond rings for your engagement or stunning diamond pendants as a gift for your sweetheart, you would want the best thing, right? And why not? When you are investing your money and emotion into buying the most precious stone on earth, why settle for anything less?
Also, you may be aware of the 4Cs that can help you to pick the finest diamond- cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight. But do you know that there is another C that can impact your diamond-buying? It is the C of Certification. If you ignore this C, you may be missing out on the most important thing in the whole process. But just like all diamonds are not created equal, all certificates are also not equal. When you want a certificate that has the highest standard of integrity, Solitaire Gem Labs (SGL) is the answer to your need.
What is Solitaire Gem Labs?
Solitaire Gemmological Laboratories Ltd. (SGL) is an international gem testing lab. This independent lab is trusted by gem sellers and buyers for their reliable gem grading certificates. Here, each stone goes through a complete analysis by a team of experts before the report is made. All the details are given in the report so that the buyer can make an informed decision. Reports issued by the lab are valued for their authenticity.
SGL offers its services through a number of centres spread across the world, including London, Dubai, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, and many other places. Their highly equipped labs use the same process and technology to provide the same standard of reliable report across all their centres. If your diamond is SGL certified, it means you can be sure of the diamond’s authenticity and quality.
Why is Certification Important?
Every diamond does not come with a certificate. Moreover, many diamonds look the same regardless of being certified or not. So, why should you bother about a certificate while buying that pair of diamond earrings or nose pins which you want to own so much? Well, that is because a certificate will prove beyond doubt the worth of the stone. It will give you peace of mind that the 4Cs of the stone- cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight are exactly what they are said to be.
Diamonds are precious stones. But even within them, some are splendid and some are not so good to behold. Then there are others who may look like flawless but may not be so. That is why the quality of a diamond needs to be determined through certification. It takes an expert and various powerful tools to analyse diamonds. A lot of things are considered when a diamond is analysed. These include its natural rarity, inclusions, finished quality, etc. Once a diamond is analysed, you can know for sure if it is a natural stone or not, if it’s been treated or not, etc. A certificate tells you clearly about the various aspects of the diamond. So, when you buy a diamond, the deal must involve a certificate. It is the universal language of trust in the jewellery world. Without it, you are at the mercy of sellers, who may not be always honest.
What are the Reports Offered by This Lab?
You can get two types of reports from this lab. They are the diamond reports and diamond jewellery reports.
Diamond report: SGL aims to make you aware of the quality characteristics of a diamond. That is why their report includes a detailed description of the diamond’s 4Cs.
Cut: The cut is the most important factor that decides the beauty and value of a diamond. It tells you about the reflective quality of the stone. So, look for a diamond with a high cut grade.
Colour: Colourless diamonds are the most desirable ones. The less the colour, the higher the colour grade! When you are buying a diamond, try to go for one that has a higher colour grade.
Clarity: Most diamonds have slight imperfections known as inclusions and blemishes. Sometimes they are not visible to the naked eye. The clarity grade tells you how clean and free of imperfections your diamond is.
Carat Weight: Carat refers to the weight of the diamond. As the weight increases, the price of the diamond also increases. Note that the carat weight does not impact the beauty of a diamond in any way.
Apart from these 4Cs, an SGL certificate gives you a fifth C: Confidence. When you buy an SGL certified diamond, you will be confident of your diamond’s quality.
Diamond jewellery report: SGL analyses not just loose diamonds but mounted ones as well. Their diamond jewellery report includes details of both the stone and the jewellery. Each such report carries the SGL diamond trust mark. This mark reflects strict diamond quality control.
SGL also provides two other services, namely diamond sealing and lab grown diamond screening. When you buy an SGL certified diamond, you can even verify the report. This enables you to be sure that the report matches the records stored in the SGL report database. You can easily check the report online and clear any doubts that you may have before you go ahead with the deal.
Does It Mean that a Diamond without an SGL Certificate is Bad?
No, that’s not the case. SGL certificate does not turn a diamond into good or bad. It just tells you about the features of the stone. Buying an uncertified diamond is a big risk. A certificate from the lab protects you from such risks. You will be sure that you are paying the correct price for your diamond.
Here’s the bottom line. If you are not highly experienced in buying diamonds or if are not confident about determining the quality of the stone by yourself, go for an SGL certified diamond to be sure of the quality.