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...
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
- 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:
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
- Check for the buy-back policy
- Gemstones on silver jewellery
- German silver
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.