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Gold you can Trust
The BIS and 916 sealThere is gold. And then there is hallmarked gold. Hallmarks are administered at the world's renowned Goldsmith's Hall in the city of London. The Goldsmith's are incorporated by Royal Charter and have tested and approved the metal for over 700 years.

Hallmarking today is the most important form of consumer protection. The Hallmark can tell you the history of the item that bears it, that is:

1. The type of metal (gold, silver, platinum, etc).
2. The manufacturer.
3. The city of hallmarking ( Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi…)
4. Standard of purity (19ct, 20ct, 22ct, 24ct).

To put it simply, hallmarking is a foolproof method to accurately determine and record the exact gold content in jewellery.

IKDM  sealn Bangalore, C Krisniah Chetty & Sons cater to the demand for hallmarked gold. They have been in the jewellery business for an astounding 130 years and hallmarked gold is their new venture.

C Vinod Hayagriv, the Managing Director of C. Krishniah Chetty & Sons, spoke to on hallmarked jewellery.

The bulk of their gold is purchased from banks and bullion dealers, which is of high quality. Their eminent customers are spread all over South India and there is a regular demand from many celebrities for their jewellery.

The Seal of shop-CKC"We not only have the run-of-the-mill type of jewellery, but also a variety of very common bread-butter jewellery too," says Vinod Hayagriv.

Usually, the middle and upper-middle strata of society buy the recent trendy designs, which are a blend of both the South Indian and North Indian patterns. These jewellery pieces have very fine design element where the motifs are not very strong and the texture is subdued.

Jewellers desirous of hallmarking their gold jewellery first need to become Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certified jewellers. BIS is the national standards body of India responsible for setting standards on par with the internationally accepted ISO 9000 family of quality standards.

With hallmarked gold, you can be absolutely sure of its cartage and fineness. Hallmark provideYellow tag of hallmarkings a third-party assurance and satisfaction that you have got the right purity of gold for the given price. They also protect you against victimization by irregular gold quality. There is no table-top methodology to test the purity of the gold in the business as there is an absence of any kind of regulation. The only way to check the purity of the metal is to destroy the piece or melt it.

"Unless each jeweller is quality conscious, hallmarking of gold is not applicable. Almost all the items here in our stores is hallmarked. Right now we are not levying any extra charges on the hallmarked gold for 3-4 months, but once this business picks up, we will increase the rates as we have to pay a certain amount from our pockets for getting each piece of jewellery hallmarked," says a proud Vinod.

Remember to check for all of these 6 seals before buying a piece of jewellery:
  • The BIS seal.
  • The seal of 916 which is the number indicating the gold content on a scale of 1000.
  • Seal of KDM or Cadbium jewellery with which the ornament is soldered and, when melted to check the purity, there is no wastage at all.
  • Seal of the job worker.
  • Seal of the shop from where the jewellery was bought.
  • The seal of purity, i.e. 22/22, where the first "22" means even if the gold is melted, the purity of the piece does not come down and the second "22" stands for the purity of the metal when rubbed on any stone for purity.
At C Krishniah Chetty & Sons, a customer should look out for the yellow tags to recognise hallmarked gold and the white tags for the non-hallmarked ones. This is not to say that the articles without the yellow-tags are fake. These are also genuine pieces, but it is not certified. The only difference is that hallmarking a piece of jewellery will add extra value to the piece compared to the non-hallmarked piece.

Now that you know what to look for when purchasing gold, make sure that coveted item of jewellery you decide to invest on is hallmarked gold. Hallmarked gold is available at:

C. Krishniah Chetty & Sons
# 35 Commercial Street, Bangalore-560 001
Phone: 2558 8731
Fax: 2558 9604

White tag of non-hallmarked jewellery An antique piece of jewellery from CKC

Inputs for the article by C Vinod Hayagriv, M D, C Krishniah Chetty & Sons 
Aditi Kumar
Photographs by Somashekar D P