Beware of fake gold jewellery

blooming bouquet close up diamonds
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Buying genuine gold has never been harder. And now, Diwali is nearing and you want to buy gold with your hard-earned money. Take a breath.

Last week in Pune, a man was duped by a jeweller. He was sold an 18-carat ring, under the guise of it being 22-carat. And as the owner of the shop said everyone did it! And well, he isn’t far wrong. The jewellery you buy from a neighbourhood jewellery could well be “under-carated”.

But it’s not just small-time jewellers who sell dubious stuff. Niran Modi’s Geetanjali Jewels “sold substandard and fake diamonds to its customers”. And if you ever have been a victim, you can take comfort in the fact that even banks have been taken for a ride. SBI in Pinjore (Haryana) disbursed a loan of 18 lakhs against fake gold.

India’s gold business has always been a little shady. There are 30-40 lakh jewellers in India to satisfy Indians’ craze for gold, and only about 30% are in the organised sector. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of these jewellers are certified by BIS. But wait, all hallmarked jewellers may not have a genuine hallmark, and that’s really bad news. BIS Inspectors do not conduct regular checks.

Here are some things you should do before buying gold:

    1. Buy gold from a BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) hallmarked jeweller, preferably a well known name in a top urban center. Sure, you may have your family jeweller whom you trust, but to be on the safe side, get the gold you buy from him tested. It will reinforce whatever trust you have in him.
      Here is a list of hallmarked jewellers from the BIS site.
    2. Know the price of gold the day you set out to buy gold.
    3. The bill may be a little complicated (deliberately so) and mention wastage, but at least know what you are paying per gram.
    4. Insist on a bill. Yes, it means paying GST, but it is a safety night in case you are fooled. In any case, why should you go to a jeweller who wants to sell you gold without a bill?
    5. If you are buying gold coins, you will find they come in tamper proof packaging. Keep this packaging intact, because it is proof that your coin is genuine. There are also options to buy coins from reputed banks, and this means you do not have to go to a jeweller.

Until the government manages to implement mandatory BIS hallmarking of gold, customers have to be careful from whom they buy. And remember, some jewellers get their own hallmarking done, without BIS! 

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