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All you need to know about Hallmark, KDM, and 916 Varieties of Gold

Team Jar
July 5, 2022
All you need to know about Hallmark, KDM, and 916 Varieties of Gold

Gold is a great investment option. Whenever you buy gold, you must always check for a purity certification. So read on about Hallmark, KDM and 916 gold.

Have you ever come across any gold jeweler advertisement? If yes, then you must have noticed that they mention guaranteed purity along with the specification of some sign or a certificate, or more specifically, a hallmark. What is that? How does that certify purity? Let’s find out!

Indians use gold abundantly — from weddings to festivals, this yellow metal always makes its presence felt. Wearing gold jeweler and gifting gold is considered to be auspicious.

In the case of Indian weddings, nothing can beat the gold ornaments adorned by the brides! Gold is definitely an important component of Indian culture and also their financial portfolio. 

When buying gold, purity is a big criteria. We often hear suggestions to buy hallmark gold, or to check the gold’s purity through government details. What does one need to do when they want to buy gold?

First, gold, like every other metal, comes in different varieties or purity levels — Hallmark, KDM and 916 are the most prevalent varieties of gold in India. 

Let's understand each of the three varieties one by one.

Hallmark Gold

  • Hallmark is a certification that the gold is pure, performed by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The BIS is the concerned authority in matters of certification of gold. BIS is also the sole organisation approved by the government of India for hallmarking gold jeweler. This organisation operates under the rules and guidelines as stated by the BIS Act. 

  • BIS stamps a certificate of purity and fineness on your gold, and this process is known as Hallmarking. 

  • Hallmarking means that the gold that was used in making of your jeweler adheres to the international standards of purity and fineness. This is a clear sign that your gold is genuine and you need not worry about the quality of it. 

  • There are several assaying and hallmarking centers recognised by the BIS where the licensed jewelers can get their jeweler hallmarked. 

  • The actual mark of a hallmark is engraved on your gold jeweler through a laser. 

KDM Gold

  • Delicate designs on gold jeweler are intricate, and beautiful, and their elegance is carved out through a process called ‘soldering’

  • In soldering, two different metals (like gold and silver) are joined together with a filler metal called ‘solder’. 

  • When choosing this filler metal, it is made sure that the melting point is lesser than that of gold — this is done to ensure that when the jeweler is melted, gold retains its purity. 

  • One of the most common mixture of metals used as a solder is Cadmium and Gold — in a 92% gold and 8% cadmium ratio. 

  • Gold jeweler where cadmium is used as the filler metal is known as KDM gold. 

  • Cadmium is a hazardous metal, however, and working with it can hamper the health conditions of the artisans. This is why the Bureau of Indian Standards has banned this gold from being circulated. 

BIS 916 variety of Gold

  • You must have heard about different purity levels of gold – 22 carat, 24 carat, 18 carat, 14 carat, etc. These purity levels basically depend on the composition of gold in the jeweler. 

  • 22 carat gold is called ‘BIS 916’.  

  • The number 916 represents the purity of gold in the final product – 91.6% pure gold in a 100 gram alloy (a mixture of metals).  

  • Similarly, 23 carat gold is known as 958 (95.8% pure gold in 100 gram alloy), and 18 carat gold is known as 750 gold (75% pure gold in 100 gram alloy). 

  • The purest gold (24 carat) is too soft to make intricate designs on jeweler. Therefore, alloys are used to make it hard, and designs are created using the 22 carat gold (BIS 916 gold). That’s why, for the best purity, people generally opt for 22 carat gold ornaments rather than other varieties. 

In a nutshell, when buying gold, purity is the most important segment. The purer the gold, the greater the demand and the higher the price.

When buying gold, you must consider other factors too, like manufacturing charges, or whether it is machine made or handmade, etc.

These factors also have a major part to play in gold rates. You can also get buyback terms on the gold that you buy and consider a hallmarking or purity certification too. 

If you are considering starting investments and bringing variety in your financial portfolio, you must give gold investments a try. In addition to investment, gold also plays a major role in collateral in gold loans.

You can directly invest in gold or consider investments in digital gold- one of the fastest growing investment options today. With digital gold, you can invest in 24 carat gold and even get it delivered home.

With the advancement of technology, several online platforms like the Jar app, are available where you can make gold investments according to your goals and ambitions. If you want to know more about digital gold and why it’s a healthy investment, check out this article!

With Jar, you can use spare change and pennies to invest directly in digital gold, and with daily spins, you can double the investment amount!

Smart investment plans like these are a small pedestal to reach your financial goal. If you are planning to make a big investment in the future, you must definitely start with such a small investment first and understand investment basics. To be financially savvy, you will need to take some risk.