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Home > India > Business > Business Headline > Commodities

Check gold purity with carat meter and be safe

Commodity Online | May 15, 2008 15:24 IST

How pure is the gold that you buy from a jewellery shop? Without a gold carat meter to check for purity and going by conventional 'touchstone' method, consumers could end up getting less value for what they pay.

A recent survey by Bureau of Indian Standards in Delhi revealed that there was indeed cheating on the part of jewelers and consumers were getting much lesser value for gold for the amount they pay.

Titan Industries [Get Quote] set the trend by installing carat meters in their Tanishq showrooms. They are in the forefront to campaign for standardized hallmarking of gold.

Tanishq has over 105 showrooms in 71 cities in the country.

The company had pioneered its own one million rupees-a-piece 'carat meter', which customers can use to ensure the purity of their gold is now campaigning for the rest of the industry to follow suit.

Recently, the Gulf newspaper Xpress said Tanishq's vice-president for retail and marketing, V Govind Raj, made the call for uniform hallmarking during his speech to the Dubai City of Gold conference in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Tanishq's campaign has spawned widespread calls for hallmarking in the world's biggest gold market. Over 800 tonnes of gold are sold annually in India, compared to Dubai's 500 tonnes which are mostly re-exported.

But unlike Dubai - considered one of the safest places to buy gold - a Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) survey in Delhi revealed that 80 per cent of consumers get only 84.5 per cent value of the money they paid for the gold.

Slowly the awareness about carat meters is catching up in upmarket towns and cities in the country.

Recently there were reports in the media about a Coimbatore-based jeweller who installed a carat meter in his outlet imported from CMI, USA.

The machine allows the customers to know the purity/content of gold, in the jewellery bought from this showroom.

According to leading branded jewelers like Tanishq the machine is considered to be a more reliable compared to the traditional 'touchstone' method.

The fully automatic, instant assay instrument is meant to gauge any metal. India is the largest consumer of gold in the country with an annual consumption of over 800 tonnes.

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