Understanding and Verifying Gold Hallmarks

Understanding and Verifying Gold Hallmarks: A Simple Guide

Gold, a symbol of luxury and wealth, serves dual purposes: crafting exquisite jewelry and acting as a reliable investment. This duality places a high premium on the purity of gold, a matter of paramount importance for buyers. However, discerning the authenticity of gold is more complex for the everyday consumer.

To address this challenge, the Indian government has implemented a hallmarking system. This system is a beacon for consumers, guiding them in differentiating authentic gold from imitations. Join us as we explore the intricacies of hallmark gold and unravel the methods to verify its authenticity.

Understanding Hallmark Gold

In the year 2000, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) unveiled a groundbreaking solution: the BIS hallmarking scheme. This certification stamp, a hallmark of trust and quality, assures buyers of the gold's purity. A significant milestone was reached on June 23, 2021, when hallmarking became a nationwide mandate in India.

The hallmark is not just a symbol; it's a promise. It confirms that the gold has undergone rigorous testing in accredited laboratories, ensuring its purity. Each piece of gold jewelry adorned with this mark has met the stringent international standards required to be classified as genuine gold. This system empowers consumers with the knowledge and confidence to identify authentic gold.

Verifying Hallmark on Gold - New System

Effective from April 1, 2023, the hallmarking procedure for gold has undergone a significant transformation. A novel feature of this updated system is the inclusion of a unique six-digit alphanumeric code. This code empowers buyers with the ability to independently verify the authenticity of their gold purchases. 

  • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Logo: The cornerstone of the new hallmarking system remains the BIS logo. This emblem is an indispensable component on all gold jewelry pieces. Its presence is a primary indicator of authenticity. When selecting gold items, verifying the BIS logo should be your initial step to confirm the item's legitimacy.

  • Purity Identification Mark: Similar to the previous format, the hallmark still includes a purity and fineness mark, which indicates the gold's purity in terms of karats. This crucial detail helps you gauge the actual gold content in the jewelry. Checking this mark continues to be an essential part of assessing the quality and value of your gold purchase.

  • Navigating the New Hallmark Verification Process: The centerpiece of the revamped hallmarking system is a unique six-digit alphanumeric code, pivotal in verifying the hallmark's authenticity. This code offers consumers a direct way to ascertain whether their gold jewelry is genuine.
  • Utilizing the BIS CARE app, this verification can be easily accomplished. Here's a step-by-step guide to using the app:

    • Launch the BIS CARE app and navigate to the 'verify HUID' tab.
    • Input the six-digit 'HUID' number in the provided field.
    • Hit the 'Search' button to initiate the verification process.

    By following these steps, you can confidently determine the purity of the gold before making a purchase. This innovative approach provides an added layer of security, ensuring that you are investing in authentic and high-quality gold jewelry.

    Exploring the Varieties of Gold Hallmarks

    Gold hallmarking encompasses two distinct types, further divided into six categories, each representing different karats of gold. The term 'karat' is a measure of gold purity, and these categories reflect the percentage of gold in a jewelry piece. Here's a breakdown of the hallmarking purity categories:

    • 14 Karat (14K585): This hallmark indicates a gold content of 58.5%, signifying 14 parts gold out of 24 total parts.
    • 18 Karat (18K750): Representing 75% gold, this category is marked by 18 parts of gold in the alloy.
    • 20 Karat (20K833): With 83.3% gold, this hallmark signifies a higher purity level, denoting 20 parts gold.
    • 22 Karat (22K916): Indicative of 91.6% gold, this is a common purity level in many gold jewelry pieces, with 22 parts gold.
    • 23 Karat (23K958): This category stands for 95.8% gold content, equating to 23 parts gold.
    • 24 Karat (24K995): The highest purity level, with 99.5% gold, representing pure gold without significant alloy content.

    Each karat category is clearly defined by these specific numbers, ensuring a precise understanding of the gold content in any piece of jewelry. For instance, the mark 14K585 confirms that the item contains 58.5% pure gold.

    Understanding 916, KDM, and Hallmark Gold

    916 gold signifies 22 karat purity, indicating 91.6% pure gold. KDM gold refers to a blend of 92% gold with 8% cadmium, known for its crafting ease. On the other hand, Hallmark gold is authenticated and certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for its purity, irrespective of its karat value. Each term represents a different aspect of gold's quality and composition.

    What is the Value of Non-Hallmarked Gold?

    Gold jewelry without a hallmark still holds value, though its worth is subject to a buyer's assessment. The value is primarily influenced by the current gold rate and the gold's purity. However, without a hallmark, jewelers may deduct for factors like wastage or the presence of solidifying agents. Hallmarking plays a crucial role in safeguarding investment returns, as it provides certified proof of the gold's purity, thereby ensuring a fair and transparent valuation.


    Understanding the nuances of gold hallmarking is essential, whether you're investing in this precious metal or simply purchasing it for personal use. Hallmarks serve as a guarantee of gold purity, verified by trustworthy sources. Each hallmark component provides vital information about the gold's purity and authenticity. So, the next time you're in the market for gold, remember to look for the hallmark - it's a small detail that makes a big difference in ensuring the quality and value of your purchase.