EAST INDIAN GOLD JEWELRY
22 Karat Indian Gold Jewelry
This is Oscar Morante, the owner of Portland Gold Buyers, LLC. I buy and otherwise deal with gold and diamonds just about every day. Thus, although I am located in Portland, Oregon, I regularly buy East Indian gold jewelry. I am writing this article to explain East Indian gold jewelry from the point of view of a gold buyer. I am well qualified for explaining about East Indian gold jewelry because I pay for it in cash. So “I put my money where my mouth is” so to speak. Anyone can say anything while not paying for something.
What is Indian Gold Jewelry
In this article, I will refer to “East Indian Gold Jewelry” as “Indian Jewelry” for gold jewelry made in the country of India, and close surroundings (Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc). Not gold jewelry made by American Indians in the United States. So Indian gold jewelry is gold jewelry made in India, or thereabouts.
Is Indian Gold Jewelry 22K?
From the point of view of a gold buyer, like me, or, a person selling gold to a gold buyer, what matters is the bottom line of the item. That is, what is the precious metal fineness of the gold items subject to the transaction. Basically, how much pure gold is in the article(s).
Generally speaking, Indian gold jewelry is considered 22K. That is the theory. And for the most part, at the practical level, most often it is. But that is often not the case. A more accurate statement is “Indian Gold Jewelry is of Hight Fineness”, or “Indian Jewelry is of High Karatage. So Indian jewelry tends to be 22K, but don’t count on it. The main reason has to be with how it is made, and the standards used.
In addition, there is plenty of 18K Indian gold jewelry. It tends to be less traditional, but it is equally good.
Manufacturing & Standards
I have never been to India, but I have bought plenty of Indian gold jewelry. So I paid for it. And most likely I will buy more of it year after year, so I educated well about it.
I have melted segregated karat lots of Indian gold jewelry, tested scientifically individual gold items, and studied assay results. I strive to pay the most for gold items given how much gold is in them, so I am well informed.
Most Indian jewelry manufacturing starts with close to 22K gold alloy. I say close because most of this jewelry is handmade by artisans. They are not as scientific as others can be, but their methods are very good. So they approximate to 22K very much. It is just that we don’t know how close.
From my research, I understand that in India there are no enforced or uniform gold fineness grading standards. Thus, although everyone strives towards that 22 Karat standard, things are not that exact.
In addition, a large proportion of Indian gold jewelry tends to be made out of lots of small parts. Most likely those parts are individually each 22K. The situation is that, in order to connect them, they are often placed on a gig, and blown with gold solder in order to connect them and have a monolithic piece. The solder is also high karat gold, but less than 22K. The reason is simple. The solder needs to melt sooner than the pieces being connected, otherwise, the whole thing would melt into an amorphous shape. The result is that, although the item is made out of individual 22K pieces, the overall fineness is reduced. That reduction may be to actually 21K, or even 18K. That is only noticeable when melting the piece and testing after that.
Another common situation is that often Indian gold jewelry is made by melting other gold jewelry. So the goldsmith gets other gold jewelry, melts it, and out of that creates new gold jewelry. In principle, this sounds fine. However, this brings inprecision to the precious metal fineness of the end result jewelry. It is hard to control fineness when mixing all kinds of similar but not exact fineness items.
The last important consideration is hallmarking. Often not even Indian can understand the gold jewelry hallmarks. There are all kinds. So how can someone deem a material 22K gold with certainty by reading the hallmark? It is hard to do.
Indian Gold Jewelry Learned Facts:
- It is always better to test Indian jewelry prior to confirming it as 22k
- Indian gold jewelry ranges in fineness from 18K to 22K
- Intricate designs, with lots of parts, although made of gold 22K parts, most often has a fineness of less than 22K
- Items, such as bangles, with are basically gold bars made into a circle, are most often obvious 22K
- Indians also manufactured plenty of 18K jewelry