Jewelry Industry

Difference between BIS HallMark and 916

Vandana Matta

Vandana Matta

October 02, 2022

The following article explains briefly about BIS Hallmark gold and 916 gold which we often come across at the time of buying gold, including Hallmark meaning. Knowing the difference between these three terms can help us narrow down our choice in gold purity and quality.

India always had a strong connection with gold due to its rich heritage and culture. The yellow metal is considered a symbol of status and fortune. From a newborn baby to a bride, or even to felicitate achievements, celebrate festivals, and gift BIS hallmark for gold on various occasions is considered to signify luck and prosperity. Gold has a religious significance as well in India. Gold is offered to their deities by Indians, and being the auspicious metal in India carries a high level of emotional quotient. Not just a metal of wealth, gold is also considered a good investment be it through jewelry or coins, or others.

Hallmarked Gold, KDM Gold and 916 Gold – What is the Difference?While purchasing gold necklaces, purity is always one of the most significant concerns for consumers. Whether you buy 22 karat gold or 18 karat gold, the main concern is the assurance of the quality of gold.

A few years back, there were many methods of making gold jewelry and no standard way of assuring its purity. But with the arrival of the hallmarking system by BIS in India, buyers are feeling safer and more confident about their gold purchases.

What is BIS Hallmark Gold?

The process of certifying the purity and fineness of gold is called hallmarking. Hallmark gold is certified gold that goes through a process of quality check and assurance called hallmarking. An agency under the Government of India, called the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), carries out this process of hallmarking to certify the purity and fineness of a gold item. Hallmarking on the gold piece shows that the gold used for making that item adheres to the international standards of purity under the rules and regulations of the BIS Act.

The BIS is the only organization recognized by the Government of India that operates the certification system for hallmarking of gold items including jewelry, coins, and bars. There are many hallmarking and assaying centers that are recognized by the BIS wherein licensed jewelers can get their certified hallmarks on jewelry items.

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Hallmark gold signs are laser engraved with these four components – The standard BIS hallmark Logo, Purity in Karat and Fineness, the Assaying and Hallmarking Centre’s logo or number, and the Jeweller’s Identification mark or logo. Know more about these components through our guide BIS Hallmarking – Meaning & Importance.

If you see the BIS hallmark on gold jewelry/gold coin, it means it conforms to a set of standards laid by the BIS. Hallmark gold price gives consumers assurance regarding the purity of the gold they bought. That is, if you see a hallmark on 18K gold jewelry, it will actually mean that 18/24 parts are gold and the rest is alloy.

Bureau of Indian Standards, the National Standards Body of India, is responsible for hallmarking gold as well as silver jewelry under the BIS Act. Here are the four components one must look at the time of buying gold (they are mentioned in the laser engraving of a hallmark seal):

BIS Hallmark:

  • Indicates that its purity is verified in one of its licensed laboratories
  • Purity in Karat and fineness (corresponding to given Karatage KT)
  • 22K 916 (91.6% Purity)
  • 18K750 (75% Purity)
  • 14K585 (58.5% Purity)
  • Assaying & Hallmarking Centre’s mark
  • Jeweler’s unique identification mark

How can I know if the jewelry store I am buying gold from is certified by BIS?
One can know the list of jewelers that are certified and licensed by BIS from the official website of BIS. Apart from that, the list also provides the names and addresses of the jewelers and the date by which their license with BIS is valid.

Benefits of buying BIS Hallmark gold jewelry

Hallmark on jewellery certifies the purity of gold. Since it is the mark of purity, it instills confidence in the mind of the consumer. This means, that if you are buying hallmark gold jewelry 18K, it will actually mean that 18/24 parts are gold and the rest is an alloy which will help you get better resale value at that time. Hallmark on 916 jewellery is a sure way to be assured of the quality of the jewels you buy.

Every jewel that has been hallmarked is tested for purity at a BIS-authorised assaying center and once it passes the check, a laser engraving is done to identify the jewel. A hallmark seal consists of five parts as in the image above. Next time you buy a jewel make sure to check for all the five seals as above.

What is 916 hallmark Gold?

916 in gold represents the finesse of gold jewelry – 91.6 grams of gold per 100 grams. Gold is categorized based on its purity. 24 Karat, 23,22, 18,14 or 10 Karat, etc., are the different types of gold purity levels available. 22 Karat hallmark gold is referred to as ‘BIS 916’ Gold, the number 916 denoting the purity of gold in the final product. Similarly, 23 karat gold is called 958 gold, and 18 karats are denoted by 750 gold.

In layman’s terms, it is another name for 22K gold. For e.g. if 22K gold weighs 100 gm, it contains 91.6 gm of pure gold per 100 grams of alloy.

Note: Gold is categorized on the basis of its purity such as 24K, 23K, 18K, etc. If it’s hallmarked, BIS will be added as a prefix. For e.g-22K gold will be referred to as ‘BIS 916’ gold, 23K gold is referred to as BIS 958, and so on. The number i.e. 916 or 958 is part of the hallmark seal.

However, delicate designs are crafted using 22 Karat or BIS 916 hallmark Gold, as it is more durable than pure gold (24K) and also higher in purity content than 18K or 14 K. Hence, most people who buy gold jewelry usually pick 22K Gold or 916 kdm Gold rate.

And, it is also recommended to cross-check the current gold rate in your city before buying any type of gold item. For that, you can check online or enquire about the same in the jewelry store itself.

Legal Requirements

Legal requirements for BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) and 916 (gold purity) vary based on their respective contexts.

BIS is a national standards body in India that formulates and certifies standards across various sectors. It ensures quality, safety, and reliability of products and services. The legal requirements for BIS compliance include obtaining the BIS certification mark, which indicates adherence to specific standards.

This mark is mandatory for certain products, such as electrical appliances, automotive components, and food products. Failure to comply with BIS standards can lead to penalties, product recalls, or even legal action.

On the other hand, 916 refers to the gold purity standard commonly used in jewelry. It signifies that the gold contains 91.6% pure gold and 8.4% other metals, such as copper or silver. In many countries, including India, there are legal requirements for gold jewelry to meet the 916 purity standard. These requirements are enforced by government agencies responsible for hallmarking and ensuring the quality of gold jewelry. Non-compliance with these requirements can result in penalties, fines, or loss of business reputation.

Testing Process

The testing process of BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) and 916 gold jewelry involves different procedures and requirements.

BIS is a government agency in India responsible for establishing standards for various products, including gold jewelry. The testing process for BIS certification involves multiple stages to ensure the quality and purity of the gold. First, the jewelry is tested for its physical properties, such as weight, dimensions, and markings. Then, it undergoes chemical tests to determine the purity of gold, including the percentage of other metals present.

On the other hand, 916 gold refers to 22-karat gold, which contains 91.6% pure gold and 8.4% other metals. The testing process for 916 gold jewelry focuses on verifying the gold content and ensuring it meets the required standard. This involves using various methods, such as acid testing, X-ray fluorescence, or fire assay. It is  to determine the purity of the gold.

Both BIS and 916 gold testing processes aim to provide assurance to consumers about the quality and purity of the gold jewelry they purchase. However, BIS certification is a formal recognition by a government agency. 916 gold refers to a specific gold purity level. It is important for consumers to look for BIS certification or 916 hallmark when purchasing gold jewelry. This is to ensure its authenticity and quality.

While testing gold at home, pay attention to the quality certifications. You can contact the Jewelry Shop if anything is missing.

Final Thoughts

In summary, BIS HallMark is an official certification mark issued by the Bureau of Indian Standards. This is to indicate the quality and purity of gold and silver articles. It involves a rigorous testing process and provides legal proof of authenticity. On the other hand, “916” is a general indication of gold’s purity level. It is commonly used in jewelry without specific certification or testing requirements.

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