Hallmarking Gold jewellery started as a mark of customer protection back in the 1200s, during the times of King Louis IX of France and King Edward I of England. It was introduced to save the consumers from being duped into buying other yellow metals that could easily replicate gold. Hallmarking has been made mandatory in the UK, and it has to be necessarily done from any of the four assaying centres situated in London, Birmingham, Sheffield or Edinburg.
The hallmarking agency in India is called the Bureau of Indian Standards. The BIS is authorized to testify both gold and silver. Gold jewellery is identified by BIS hallmarking which consists of the BIS logo, logo of the assaying office, purity of the gold, code of the jeweller, year of certification, etc. The purity of gold is depicted depending on the karat. 22-karat gold ornaments are engraved as 22K916. Since it is a known fact that gold is a soft metal that needs various other alloys to become hard, 916 gold constitutes 91.6 grams of gold in 100 grams of alloy. 18K750 is 18-karat gold, which means the ornaments contain 75 grams of pure gold in 100 grams of the alloy used. The most sought after form of gold is 22k916 because it is the perfect blend that can be carved into various intricate ornaments. There are even cases of hallmarked pieces of jewellery being of low standards, but the Government of India has some hard laws to deal with such defaulters.