SOME FACTS ABOUT GOLD
All that glitters…is Gold
Gold is synonymous with the history and future of man. In fact, gold is a symbol of success, achievement and prosperity. So much so that great human achievements are more often than not rewarded with gold! Be it a gold medal, a gold trophy or the Nobel Prize, gold is considered worthy of treasuring a worthy accomplishment.
Even the Academy Awards, the Golden globe Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Plame d’Or, and the British Academy Film Awards are either golden or gold plated.
Chemically denoted as Au, the symbol derives from the Latin word ‘Aurum’ which literally means the shining dawn.
Scientifically, gold or Au is an element with atomic number 79. Highly malleable and ductile, it is slightly reddish yellow in colour in its purest form. Historically, gold is associated with wisdom and fruition.
Connoting the wisdom and fulfillment gained with age, latter years of life are called the ‘golden years’ while the joyous occasion of the fiftieth wedding anniversary is always golden.
Gold jewellery is a piece of heirloom. In fact, most of the gold ever produced has been passed on or recycled over and over again. It is estimated that 75% of all gold ever produced has been extracted since 1910 while more than half of the total gold has been extracted in the past fifty years. Approximately 183,000 tonnes of gold have been extracted till date. The total refined gold of the world could be compressed into a cube with sides of only 20 meters!
Gold prices are standardized by fixing the price twice a day at 10.30 and 15.00 daily, except on Christmas eve and New year’s eve. The first fixing was done on 12th September 1919 and this tradition continues till date in order to provide a publicly quoted price as a benchmark for all. Uptil 2004, the fixing occurred at the premises of Nathan Mayer Rothschild & Sons. However, now it takes place via a dedicated conference line and involves major banks, namely, Barclays, Bank of China, Goldman Sachs, HSBC Bank USA, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Société Générale, Standard Chartered, Scotia-Mocatta, Toronto-Dominion Bank and UBS.
50% of the gold produced worldwide is used in making jewelry, about 40% in investments and the remaining 10% in industrial application. India is the biggest consumer of gold worldwide with 80% of the gold being used for ornamental purposes. Holding a revered place in the Indian culture, the yellow metal is loved by young and old alike. With the demand for gold increasing every day, purity is a big concern for every buyer.
Purity of gold is measured in karats. 100% gold is referred to as 24k gold. As 24k gold is too soft, it is alloyed with other metals such as silver, copper or nickel for making jewellery. This reduces the percentage of gold in the alloy. Mostly, 22k gold is used in jewellery.
Considering the importance of gold in the Indian culture and to safeguard the consumers from fraud, the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) launched its hallmarking scheme on 11th April 2000. A Hallmark or Standard Mark is a mark of purity awarded by the BIS. A Hallmark indicates that the gold content in the jewellery has been evaluated and that the gold adheres to international standards of purity.
For complete peace of mind, only buy Hallmarked jewellery!