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Gold is one of the most precious elements to be known to mankind. Gold is an important part of Indian history and modern economy. Apart from cultural importance, gold has diverse applications in the form of liquidity, investment quality, industrial property, electronics sector, etc. In each of these applications, Gold has outperformed due it its malleability and ductility.
The most prominent form of Gold is in the form of Jewellery. Gold, in Indian history, is a culturally significant metal which has been utilised throughout generations. The historical journey of Gold is as old as the artmaking of Gold jewellery. Gold jewellery has been a part of Indian civilization for over 5000 years.
In India, Gold jewellery has traditional and aesthetic value along with being a source of financial security in times of economic crises. India is also home to a diverse category of Gold craftsmanship which is renowned throughout the world. The amount of gold jewellery owned by a woman also signifies her status and adds to the riches in her name. In the contemporary era, bridal gold jewellery is the most popular category.
Religious purposes - Gold is an important part of religious practices in India. When it comes to temple donations, Gold is the most common metal for donation. Many ancient temples across India have amassed tonnes of gold coins or bars on a yearly basis. It is also very common for devotees to purchase Gold at different religious gatherings and for different occasions.
Tradition - Gold is a family heirloom across Indian society. Gold jewellery and ornaments are passed from one generation to another. Gold jewellery is very popular among weddings as most households like to pass on jewellery from a mother to the bride. In addition, passing gold across generations helps people save money on gold.
Gifts - Gold is an important part of ceremonies and rituals in Indian society. One of the most common types of gifts is in the form of Gold coin/bar. Weddings and festivals are considered for giving gifts in the form of Gold. Gold is the highest form of gifting in India.
Auspicious days - Some days are considered to be very auspicious for purchasing gold - Akshaya Tritiya, Dhanteras, Gudi Padwa, Pushyanakshatra, Gurupushyamrit, Lakshmi Pujan, Diwali and Bhai Duj are some of them.
Investment - Since the modern era, Gold is considered as the safest investment during times of economic crises. Gold prices fluctuate on a daily basis. Thus, it makes sense for people to invest in gold in order to counter inflation.
There are different types of Gold in the market. When it comes to jewellery, Gold comes in the form of an alloy which is mixed with silver, copper, zinc, palladium, and nickel. This helps in creating the different types of gold colour. The different types of Gold colours are:
Yellow Gold - This is the most prominent and highly visible form of Gold available across the world. It is created by mixing Gold with silver, copper, and zinc. It is the purest category colour, and the most hypo-allergenic. Also, yellow Gold requires the least maintenance of all the gold colours.
White Gold - This is the second most popular form of Gold. It is made up of gold and platinum or palladium. White Gold is more durable and scratch resistant than yellow Gold. Also, it is less expensive than yellow Gold and Platinum.
Rose Gold - This form of Gold has recently become popular due to its applicability in consumer electronics apart from jewellery. Rose Gold is an alloy comprising of gold, copper, and silver. Due to its copper content, rose gold is more durable than yellow or white gold.
Green Gold - Also known as Electrum, this is an alloy of Gold, Silver and Copper.
Karat is the term used to measure the purity of Gold. It is a unit to measure the purity of Gold. The higher the karatage, the purer the Gold. Karats are measured on a scale from 0 to 24. So, 24K is the purest form of Gold.
The different types of Gold are:
24K - This is called pure 100% Gold. All 24 parts in the configurations are pure without any traces of any other metals. It is 99.9% pure with a distinct bright yellow colour. Since it is the highest form of Gold, it is naturally more expensive than all other forms of Gold. Coins and bars are mostly made with 24K Gold. Jewellery is not suitable for 24K Gold as this form of Gold is soft and pliable. Also, 24K Gold has a lot of industrial applications.
23K - Also known as 958 KDM, it is 95.8% pure form of gold (24 Karat) calculated by dividing 23 Karat/24 Karat. 958 KDM gold is same as 23 carat gold. The 958 KDM term is used to describe the purity of gold in gold coins, ornaments etc.
22K - As the name suggests, 22K Gold jewellery implies that 22 parts of the jewellery amounts to Gold while the remainder are some other metals (In 22K gold, of the 100 percent, only 91.67 percent is pure gold). This type of Gold is perfect for making jewellery.
18K - 18K Gold is 75% gold mixed with 25% other metals like Copper or Silver. It is less expensive in comparison to 24K and 22K Gold. 18K Gold is marked by 750 or 0.75 stamp in order to notify that the jewellery contains 75% Gold.
14K - 14K Gold is a mixture of Gold with Zinc, Nickel, Platinum, Copper and Rhodium. Due to its fine durability, 14K gold is used for engagement rings, eternity bands, pendants, earrings and other fine jewellery pieces. This sturdy blend is resistant to corrosion, rust and tarnish.
10K - 10K Gold is an alloy made up of 10 parts gold and 14 parts other metals such as copper, zinc, silver or nickel. It consists of 41.7% Gold and is marked by .417.
In summary, the types of Gold are:
|24K||24K, 24 kt, 999||100%||0%||Tends to bend or scratch easily|
|18K||18K, 18kt, 750||75%||25%||Ideal for jewellery|
|14K||14K, 14kt, 585||58.5%||41.5%||Ideal for jewellery|
|10k||10K, 10kt, 417||41.7%||58.3%||Affordable for jewellery|
Gold Jewellery in India comes in any of the following formats:
The auspicious days to buy Gold in India are:
You can check the purity of Gold by reading the hallmarking certificate. Gold is hallmarked when it is sold to the final consumer. You can check beforehand if your jewellery is hallmarked or not. The four things which need to be checked are - BIS logo (a triangle), purity of gold (916 for 22carat gold), assaying or hallmarking center’s mark, and jeweller’s identification mark. These details are engraved in the ornament. Hallmarking of jewellery is done in three categories - 14k, 18k and 22K. If an ornament is hallmarked as 14K, it has 58.5% purity (denoted by 585).
The best way to clean Gold jewellery at home is with dishwasher soap and water:
Gold is an important investment. If you are looking for an investment which will provide ample security against inflation, Gold is a suitable option.