Indians love gold – there are no two ways about it. Our fascination for gold goes beyond realms and we have mastered the art of purchasing it, or so we think. Gold purchases for Indians generally mean one thing - jewellery. Buying gold jewellery serves dual purposes, not only is it an investment but it is also a great fashion accessory. It is a known fact that Indians love to dress up and gold jewellery is the perfect accompaniment for every occasion. Be it birthday parties or weddings, anniversaries or get-togethers, we get to see a myriad of gold jewellery on display in our great country.
The mere mention of this precious metal is enough to catch our attention, attention which distracts us from everything else around. This distraction is all that is needed to turn a dream gold purchase into a nightmare. On an average Indians purchase the most gold jewellery in the world, with jewellery stores across India seeing a steady flow of consumers. In this maddening rush to purchase gold it is common to make mistakes, but remembering a few simple steps could ensure that one gets the best bang for their buck.
- Pure or Impure: Know the Purity - The purity of gold is denoted in karats, with 24 karat gold being 99.9% pure and 22 karat gold being 92% pure. Every karat gold is equivalent to 4.2% pure gold, which in essence means that 14 and 18 karat contains only 58.33% and 75% pure gold respectively. 24 karat gold is not suited to make jewellery, which is why jewellers use either 14, 18 or 22 karat gold. Purchasing gold jewellery without checking its purity is a no-no and it always pays to check purity before parting with your hard earned money. Hallmark is an indication of purity of gold and it is advisable to purchase hallmarked jewellery, as these pieces are tested by competent agencies.
- Making charges – A making charge is associated with every piece of gold jewellery, which is essentially the labour charge involved in creating it. Making charges are a reflection of current gold rates and one could be fleeced into paying higher making charges than necessary. Insisting on fixed making charges could make gold purchases cheaper and would definitely be the smarter way to go about it.
- Man-made Vs machine made ornaments – In this age of mass production it is common to come across jewellery which is machine made. Making charges on machine made artefacts are lower than charges on man-made artefacts, making such mass produced ornaments cheaper. Discussing the origin of a particular piece could save a buyer some hard earned money.
- Check the weight – Most gold jewellery in India is sold by weight, with heavier pieces costing more. Precious stones like diamond and emerald are often added to gold jewellery, making them heavier in the process. Jewellers weigh a piece in its entirety, which means that one might end up paying for gold which is not actually there and it is imperative to keep this in mind while purchasing studded jewellery.
- Sales – Gold purchases peak during certain occasions, which invariably push up gold prices. It would be smart to purchase gold jewellery during off season, when prices are low and discounts are plenty.
- Buy Backs – Most jewellers offer the option of buy back, wherein one can exchange their old jewellery set for a new one. While designs and trends can change, the value of gold remains same and discussing buy backs during a purchase could benefit one in the future, if they ever get bored of their jewellery.
- Jewellery store – India has millions of jewellery stores, small and big, catering to its population. Purchasing gold jewellery from small stores could be a risk as they might pass of impure gold as pure gold or could sell stolen gold artefacts. It pays to go to a reputed jeweller to purchase gold as there is a guarantee about such purchases.
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