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| April 10, 2024

A Guide on How to Check Gold Purity

Gold is a precious metal known for being a symbol of wealth, prosperity, and status. It holds quite a special place in the hearts of Indian people, deeply rooted in tradition, religion, and symbolism. Extensively used in weddings, religious ceremonies, and other celebrations, gold is also considered a family heirloom, passed down through generations. Beyond cultural significance, gold is seen as a secure investment and a financial safety net. During financial crises, many turn to gold loans, using their gold to secure credit.

However, the demand and ever-increasing price of gold have given rise to frauds that cheat people by selling fake and unpure gold. Low-purity gold not only affects its durability but can also prevent you from getting a gold loan in future, as most lenders offer loans only on pure gold. Additionally, the purity of gold can directly impact the gold loan percentage you receive.

So, whether you are buying gold for personal reasons or investment purposes, knowing how to check the gold purity is crucial.

Here are some of the best ways to check the purity of gold:

Check the Purity in Karats

The purity of gold is measured in Karats, denoted by “kt” or “k”. 24 Karat gold is considered the highest-purity gold, meaning it has 99.9 per cent gold. However, gold is too soft or tangible to be converted into any jewellery or ornament. Hence, some other metals are added to gold to convert it into jewellery. For instance, an 18k gold will have 18 parts gold and 6 parts of some other metal, making it 75 per cent pure gold.

Understanding how to calculate gold purity with carat value is important, as the higher the carat value, the more pure gold the item will have. You can find the karat values such as “999” for 24k, “917” for 22k, etc, engraved on the gold jewellery.

Here are the commonly used gold markings, along with their percentages:

  • 24 K - 99.9% pure gold (999)
  • 22 K - 91.7% pure gold (917)
  • 18 K - 75% pure gold (750)
  • 14 K - 58.3% pure gold (583)
  • 10 K - 41.7% pure gold (417)

Look for Hallmarks

The gold jewellery is stamped with marks by certified agencies to indicate its purity and authenticity. This stamp is called a hallmark. In India, the Beauro of Indian Standards (BIS) is the official authority that checks gold purity and gives it a hallmark, known as the BIS hallmark. 

So, next time when you are buying any gold, look for the BIS hallmark, which is the BIS logo. These hallmark stamps can be found on the inner surface of the gold piece. 

Go for Testing Methods

Apart from checking the gold karat purity and hallmark, you can also check the purity of gold at home by using gold testing methods. Here are the most common tests that you can perform:

  • Magnet test: Pure gold is non-magnetic, meaning it won't be attracted to a magnet. So, to check the gold purity, place it next to a magnet. If it gets attracted to the magnet, then it means the gold is not pure or is of lower Karat. 
  • Vinegar test: In this test, you just need to pour a few drops of vinegar over a piece of your gold. If it changes colour, then it's impure, and if stays the same, it’s pure.
  • Float test: Gold is a very dense metal, much denser than water. This means that if you drop a piece of gold in a bowl of water, then it should not float. If gold stays floating at the top or in the middle, then it’s impure and fake

Observe the Colour and Weight

A sure way to check the purity of gold is to observe its colour and weight. For instance, a pure piece of gold will have a vibrant yellow colour and will be heavy in weight. So, be aware of gold pieces that are unusually discoloured and light in weight. Even when you see a large piece of gold and it feels light, then chances are that it is probably fake.

Seek Professional Help

If you are still in doubt about the purity of your gold, then seek professional help. Reputable jewellers have tools and equipment to check the gold purity accurately. Some methods that jewellers use to check the purity are:

  • X-Ray Fluorescence Test: In this method, the jewellers use XRF machines to identify the composition and percentage of each element in the gold piece.
  • Acid Test: This test involves scratching the gold on a testing stone and applying a testing solution that reacts differently based on the purity of the gold, indicating the fineness of the gold.
  • Ultrasound Test: This test uses high-frequency sound waves to measure the density of the gold, which can be used to determine its purity without damaging the jewellery.

Overall, checking the purity of gold is essential for getting authentic gold. By simply following the above-mentioned points on how to check gold purity, you will be confidently able to identify the purity of gold. Also, for those considering leveraging their gold assets, Muthoot Finance offers the best gold loan percentage with flexible terms and other benefits.

Enquire Now!




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