If you are unsure what KDM Gold means or whether it is a viable investment, you are not alone. There are several opportunities in gold available, and specialized terms like this do not need to complicate the choice with gold investing experts like Oxford Gold Group at hand. Here’s all you need to know about KDM gold, hallmarked gold, and what to look for before investing in an affordable gold IRA.
It is typically jewelers that use the term “KDM gold.” It refers to a gold alloy, usually 92% gold mixed with 8% cadmium. While many people prefer pure gold in all aspects of fashion and investment potential, pure gold does not work as well for high-value jewelry pieces.
One reason is that pure gold is too soft or malleable to make jewelry that holds its form. For many years, jewelers added zinc and other metals to their gold-based creations to ensure the necessary structural support and strength. Cadmium served as one of the most common metals to add to gold jewelry, especially in India.
Due to its prevalence, the term ‘KDM jewelry’ developed as a generic term for any gold jewelry soldered with cadmium. Many people have bought and worn KDM jewelry, but modern medical professionals have now issued warnings about using cadmium in the production of any gold products. Research has uncovered some issues, including that cadmium contains toxic fumes and releases substances harmful to the skin.
Reports confirm that cadmium exposure increases the risk of developing cancer and other medical issues, so the Bureau of Indian Standards now forbids the sale of KDM gold.
The next question for investors is what KDM gold means for the industry, particularly for jewelers. Why did the jewelers in India start adding this substance to their creations? There are several important reasons.
Before jewelers began working with cadmium, many used a gold-copper alloy to solder pieces of jewelry. The solder mixture contained up to 40% copper and worked well with the melting point of gold needed for creative precious metal and jewelry work. However, if individuals melted the jewelry down later, they often found its worth to be well under the gold price because the copper blended with the gold and added impurities into the metal.
A good solution for jewelers to improve the purity of gold jewelry was replacing copper with cadmium. The craftsmen could create a solder mixture that contained only 8% cadmium, reducing the presence of impurities when they melted gold jewelry. However, the emerging knowledge about the health risks of cadmium usage soon outweighed any financial benefits, including in India.
As a massive supply center, the gold found and sold in India often ranges in purity. People may buy metal believing it to be 24 karats (pure), only to discover that it has a significantly lower purity. The inconsistency, coupled with concerns regarding cadmium usage, is where the idea for hallmarked gold arose.
Today’s hallmarked gold pieces receive certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards, which performs this certification in several Assaying Centers around the country. Professionals assess jewelry to make sure it meets all government standards for quality, including hallmarked gold that still contains alloys. Jewelers may use this gold within set limits for the health and financial protection of buyers, and there are several considerations.
Anybody can determine whether jewelry meets the high standard set by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) by looking for a hallmark on a piece of gold jewelry. Assaying Centers use a laser to engrave this mark with logos for the following:
The Assaying Center then engraves information about the fineness of the gold and its purity on the inside of a piece of jewelry, where it will not be immediately apparent.
Buying hallmarked pieces of gold provides consumers with increased confidence and security about their purchases. However, only some carat classes require hallmarking, and there are a limited number of certified Assaying Centers to handle the workload.
Understanding what KDM Gold means also involves understanding terms like “916 gold” used in hallmarking circles. In this case, “916” simply refers to 22-karat gold. Jewelers use the term when gold contains 91.6 grams of gold in a 100-gram alloy piece (at a purity of 22 karats).
22 karat gold contains 91.6% pure gold, and its other components make it strong enough for use in jewelry and other creations. Some jewelers may be willing to work with 23 karat gold (“958 gold”) for customers who want purer gold, but soft 24 karat pieces are a rarity in the industry.
Pure forms of gold do not work well for jewelers, but 958 (or 23 karat) gold still has its place in the world. It typically appears in delicate ornaments or collectible gold coins.
The purity of your gold often determines its value, and purchasing high-quality gold is important for any investment portfolio. Oxford Gold Group’s first recommendation is to become familiar with the karat system, a standard measure of how much pure gold the jewelry claims to contain. For example, some jewelry contains only nine karats, which means the piece has 37.5% gold in it.
The lower purity of the gold would lower the value immensely if an investor were to melt it down to sell it. The color of the gold also changes when jewelers include additional elements in the design.
White-gold jewelry is highly popular, but this is not a gold color that occurs naturally. Jewelers use a mix of materials to achieve the ‘white’ hue of the finished gold piece, usually palladium and silver. Adding other metals will dilute the purity of the gold and reduce its value on the open market.
Jewelers also coat white gold with rhodium plating because even the addition of other metals cannot rid gold of its yellow tones. The plating tones it down, but the covering does wear away over time and needs reapplication. Investors considering melting white gold jewelry would do well to wait until the rhodium plating wears off to avoid further contamination of the pure gold.
It is also possible to purchase “rose gold” jewelry, which contains a higher percentage of copper. It changes the hue of the metal but still makes it possible to purchase 20k or 18k rose gold pieces. An 18-karat rose gold ring contains as much pure gold as an 18K “normal” gold ring and includes the same number of impurities.
Rose gold is likely to have a higher concentration of copper in comparison to other metals and usually includes a stamp that provides information about the gold concentration.
Pure gold makes a poor material for jewelry design, but cadmium’s health concerns are only one aspect of what KDM Gold means to savvy investors. In the past, jewelers worked hard to find a suitable replacement for cadmium, including turning to solders that included copper or zinc. However, there is still much work happening in the industry as the craft tries to limit impurities, and investors need to be aware of some of these changes.
For example, India specifies that hallmarked jewelry should contain specific amounts of gold. It is an easy way to guarantee the value of the jewelry if an investor ever wishes to melt it down and sell it. However, not all countries have adopted these precise hallmarking standards, and checking sources is important.
What KDM gold means for purity is that investors need to consider where the piece originated and which authority vouches for its certification. For example, India had over 300,000 jewelers, most of whom sold KDM gold and claimed the pieces were up to 22 karats in purity. However, many of these businesses only offered verbal assurance regarding the purity of their gold, which led to widespread inconsistencies.
Many of the customers who bought these pieces only realized the impurity of the gold years later or after testing their purchases in the hope of selling them for a fair price. 22 karat gold has a much higher value than 18 karat gold; rates often depend on the purity alone. Buyers offer far less money for gold with impurities, especially if the gold contains a hazardous component like cadmium.
Purchasing gold from trusted vendors who certify the purity ensures safe investments, whether in fine jewelry or a gold and silver IRA that protects your wealth for life and the legacy you leave behind.
Investors have the opportunity to learn more about gold with resources from gold investing experts, like Oxford Gold Group. Our team focuses on the highest quality silver, gold, platinum, and palladium products, and investors should not need to worry about the purity of these precious metals. We are also a helpful source of information about wise investing in a silver IRA or gold IRA, an intelligent investment that safeguards your future net worth.
Now that you know more about what KDM gold means, you can relax and invest in the right precious metals—call Oxford Gold Group at (833) 600-GOLD today to learn more.
INSIDE THIS INVESTMENT GUIDE YOU WILL LEARN:
• How Gold & Silver can protect your savings & retirement accounts
• Types of Gold & Silver products available for Home Delivery
• How a Gold & Silver IRA can protect your Retirement account