Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now


You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.
11,921.50-96.9
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Five things you should know before buying silver

In the festive season, while prices of gold are hovering around at all-time highs, silver is a cheaper alternative you can consider to keep up the tradition. Apart from silver coins and bars, you can also buy silver jewellery and utensils in the f...

, ET Online|
Updated: Oct 25, 2019, 12.12 PM IST
0Comments
Getty Images
silver-jewellery-getty
Just like gold, one can also buy silver hallmarked. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) hallmarks silver articles as well.
It is considered auspicious to buy gold and silver on Dhanteras. While many people prefer gold due to its shine, a pocket-friendly alternative you can consider this festive season is silver. Just like gold, silver too, can you bought in various forms. This can be utensils, jewellery, bars and coins.

With gold prices hovering around its all-time highs (as on October 23 price of gold per 10 grams was Rs 38, 061), silver is a cheaper alternative - price of silver per 10 grams as on October 23 was Rs 454. You do not need to be a genius to do this math.

If you are planning on buying silver this Dhanteras, here are five things that you should know.

  • Purity of silver
Just like gold, one can also buy hallmarked silver. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) hallmarks silver articles as well. Yash Punamiya, Owner of Kundan Jewellers says, "According to BIS rules, there are four signs that one must look for while buying a hallmarked silver article. However, hallmarking of silver and gold jewellery is a voluntary process. If the jeweller is offering you non-hallmarked article, you can request him to get it hallmarked. Hallmarking of silver articles provides a valid proof of purity of silver article." The four signs are as follows:
  • BIS logo
  • Purity grade/fineness
  • Hallmarking centre's identification mark/number
  • Jeweller's identification mark/number

Prior to January 1, 2017, there was one additional marking, i.e., the year of hallmarking. However, this was removed when rules were revised with effect from January 1, 2017.

BIS hallmarks following grades of silver articles:
Grade

Fineness

9999

999.9

9995

999.5

999

999

990

990

970

970

925

925

900

900

835

835

800

800

Source: BIS Website

Punamiya adds, "Grade 9999, 9995, 9999 is considered fine silver. This fine silver is considered ideal for buying coins, bars and utensils. For buying silver jewellery, artefacts, any grade from 990 to 925 is considered good. Unlike in gold, where one can buy 24KT only in the form of gold coins and bars, one can buy items such as utensils of 999 fineness in silver apart from coins and bars. Most jewellers sell 925 fineness silver, also known as sterling silver, considered as a standard"

Do keep in mind that to give strength to silver jewellery or utensils, others metals are added to it. One should ask the jeweller what kind of metal is added to the silver product. Punamiya says, "Usually copper or zinc is added to silver to make it more durable."

There is a cost aspect that you need to keep in mind while buying hallmarked silver products. According to the BIS website, hallmarking costs Rs 25 per silver article. Similarly, minimum charges per consignment are Rs 150. Service tax and other levies as applicable will also be added to the price of the product.

  • Making charges
While buying silver jewellery, we usually take the price quoted by the jeweller on face value. However, you must ask the jeweller what is the price of silver prevailing in the market and what are the making charges being charged by him for the article you want to buy. Punamiya says, "Usually making charges for the silver article starts from Rs 3 per gram with no maximum limit. However, making charges for silver articles are on the lower side as compared to the charges for gold jewellery."

  • Check for the buy-back policy
Many people sell old silver or gold jewellery to buy a new one. While buying new silver jewellery or utensils, ask the jeweller about the buy-back policy. How much money will you get if you decide to sell the article purchased on a future date back to the same jeweller? For instance, if you have bought silver jewellery of 925 grade then at the time of selling your jeweller will pay you only for 92.5 per cent of silver. Therefore, you should know the various charges that will be taken into account in calculating the sale price of your jewellery.

  • Gemstones on silver jewellery
Sometimes silver jewellery has gemstones embedded in it. You must make sure that your jeweller has not priced in the weight of these gemstones in the price of silver.

  • German silver
Nowadays, apart from silver one can also buy something called German silver. However, one must not confuse German silver with sterling silver or even silver. Punamiya says, "There is a difference between sterling silver and German silver. Sterling silver is actually made up of pure silver and other alloys which is hallmarked by BIS. On the other hand, German silver is any metal such as copper or brass which has silver polish. This is not BIS hallmarked."

Watch outs while buying silver
Bejon Misra, Expert on Consumer Rights and Policy suggests some watch outs for the buyers planning to buyer silver this festive season.

1. Always buy from the authenticated retail outlet that deals with hallmarked products. BIS also as registered jewellers from where one can buy hallmarked silver products. (Click here for the list of BIS-licensed jewellers.)

2. While buying silver products, you should get the receipt so that there is an evidence of the purchase. One must also ensure that the receipt mentions the purity of silver and weight of the article that you are buying.

3. If you are buying antique silver coin with the year mentioned on it, ensure that the same year is mentioned on the bill as well.

Also Read

Gold, silver prices drop on low demand

Bulls in silver see red

Nationalisation of distressed NBFCs only plausible silver bullet

View: PM with the silver bullet style

Silver futures slip on weak global cues

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.
Download The Economic Times Business News App for the Latest News in Business, Sensex, Stock Market Updates & More.

Other useful Links


Follow us on


Download et app


Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service