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The Sarafa or the Gold jewellery market in Lucknow is confronted with a new challenge — to ban the sale of powder gold or iridium in the state. It has been found that the goldsmith, while melting gold, are mixing iridium or the powder gold in yellow metal to add more weight to it. The jewellers’ association and gold traders of Lucknow have complained to the police and administration about banning iridium purchase in the market.

According to the traders, the goldsmith in order to make easy money mix iridium with the gold while melting it. This adds virtual weight to the gold but it is not pure in reality. In actual, iridium is much cheaper than gold. As per traders, the powder gold is ten times cheaper in cost than gold. While meting gold, the powder can be easily mixed with it, which increases the weight. After mixing them, it is difficult to trace iridium presence in the gold. Even the touch machine (meant to check the gold purity) cannot detect the presence of iridium in gold after they both have been mixed.

The two metals are only separable after melting. This practice fetches more money to the goldsmiths as the gold merchants pay gold price as per weight whereas the goldsmiths add large quantities of iridium in gold but hide it from the merchants. They take gold price from the traders as per its weight. Traders cannot detect presence of iridium in gold at a glance of it. They only get to know about this when they send the same gold to their factories for creation of ornaments. On further melting, the two metals separate from each other thereby deceiving the traders.

The practice has been prevalent in city for almost 3-4 years but the traders have been able to detect it only when many cases of fraud emerged in the past. Few gold traders were also involved in this but they were hiding it from customers to earn profit. However, now when large doses of iridium is being mixed, it is causing losses to their business too. That is why they all have collectively complained to the police. mnay such cases have been reported from Chowk in Old City.

Iridium is banned in the country but is being illegally transported from Maharashtra and Kolkata and sent to the Sarafa market. Most goldsmiths and traders also belong to these states. the mixing of gold is rampant in almost entire country. Few people in the business have also been identified who are involved in this illegal practice.

Traders have demanded that the police and administration should regularly inspect the goldsmiths. Consumers should always insist on buying the hallmark gold jewelry even if it comes at a higher price than ordinary gold. It assures purity in the metal.

Original Source: The Times of India