GST or Goods and Services Tax came into effect on 1st July 2017 by subsuming the repetitive tax structure of the previous regime and bringing transparency and accountability in the taxation system.
The implementation of this new tax regime has left a considerable effect on the prices of several commodities, of which gold accrues enormous importance due to its national and international demand.
Under the new tax regime, the GST on gold was fixed at 3% with an additional 8% tax on the making charges and import duty of 10%. Later, the making charges tax was revised and reduced to 5%. As a whole, the yellow metal has become expensive by 0.75% in the post-GST era.
A primary reason that accounts for the rising gold price is 10% import duty. However, traders have managed to evade that by importing gold from countries like South Korea, with which India shares the Free Trade Agreement.
When it comes to buying gold for jewellery or investment purposes, people often get confused about the purity and quality of the gold. The two most commonly confused types of gold are KDM gold and hallmark gold. KDM gold refers to the gold that is made by mixing cadmium with gold, where gold is 92% and cadmium 8%. This brings down the gold's purity level to 92%. However, of late, the production of KDM gold has stopped, due to the associated health risks. Hallmark gold is gold certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards. The test is conducted at the assaying centres approved by the BIS. Hallmark gold is available in four varieties:
Higher the carat, better the purity. Hence, depending on how you plan to use the gold, you may select the carat.
Gold is one of the most valuable metals known to humankind, and it can be used for multiple purposes. Besides, making jewellery, gold is also commonly used to avail funds during a financial crunch.
Thus, it is vital to measure the purity of gold to make the most of its equity. Following are some of the ways.
It constitutes one of the most common ways to determine the quality and purity of gold. Denoted by “K”, this measurement system depends on a scale that ranges from 0 to 24. For instance, a god article of 1 Karat means that that particular gold item consists of 1 part of gold and 23 parts of other metals or alloys. It also means, the closer to 24K, the purer the gold.
Most gold articles, including jewellery, come with an inscription called “hallmark” that carries the symbol of gold purity, its fineness, date of manufacturing, etc. Most countries, including India, have mandated gold jewellers to carry the BIS hallmark.
Besides these, most traders use conventional acid test or use an electronic gold tester to determine gold purity accurately.
Irrespective of the method, assessing gold purity is essential for both buyers and traders.
Karat is the term that is used internationally to indicate the purity of the gold. The karat rate is directly proportional to the purity of the gold. As the karat increases, so does the purity of the gold. The difference between a 24 karat, 22 karat and 18 karat golds are explained below. The 24 karat gold is the purest form of gold that is available. Because of its purity, rather than using it to make jewelry, it is used for investment purposes. The 24 karat gold exists in the form of gold coins or gold bars. The 24 karat gold is followed by the 22 karat gold which is used to make jewelry. The 22 karat gold is a mixture of gold with alloys such as zinc, nickel, or silver. These alloys make the gold harder and fit to be fashioned into jewelry. The purity of the 22 karat gold is 91.67% pure. The 18 karat gold is the cheapest gold that exists. It is a mixture of 75% gold and 25% alloys.
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