One of the most important aspects of buying gold in Kuwait is to ensure that the jewelry is stamped. Many people are not aware that the stamp refers to the certified quality of gold. Kuwait Times spoke with gold sellers and officials to learn more about gold hallmarks, how to identify them and the procedures to obtain one.
The ministry of commerce and industry recently issued a decision exempting gold and jewelry trademarks registered in their countries of origin from the condition of stamping upon entry to Kuwait, provided they comply with the specifications of their registered standards. Assistant Undersecretary for Technical Affairs and Trade Development at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Mohammad Al-Enzi told Kuwait Times that the ministry started receiving applications from May for the accreditation of trademarks exempted from stamping, according to resolution no. 165 of 2019.
Enzi explained that according to the decision, applications are received and studied within two months from the date of submission, and then a decision is made on the exemption. “The minister of commerce and industry issued a decree in March to regulate the stamping of precious metals and exempt international brands, while maintaining inspection procedures, which will support import and re-export,” he said.
Enzi added that in case the decision to adopt the trademarks is approved, examination of gold will take only about three hours. “The decision will reduce the waiting period for imports of precious metals from one month to three hours, in cooperation with the General Administration of Customs, which will contribute to efforts to transform Kuwait into a financial and commercial center in the region,” he said.
Ahmed Mahdi, a jeweler, explained that all gold is stamped or hallmarked according to its purity, adding that this stamp will have a letter that refers to the gold’s karat, which indicates the fineness of the metal. “The purest form of gold is 24 karat or 24k. Jewelry made of gold ranges from 18k to 22k,” he said. Mahdi said the karat helps determine the price of jewelry, where you can get the price of a piece by weighing it and comparing its selling price with the day’s gold rate.
Kuwait Times visited the department of precious metals at the gold market in Mubarakiya to check on the process of stamping gold pieces. Individuals cannot go through the process by themselves – only gold sellers or companies can. But individuals can have a piece of gold jewelry recently bought inspected and its quality confirmed by the department, as long as the invoice is within one week.
Before buying any gold jewelry, check for the stamp that indicates its purity. The stamp is the accurate determination and official record of the proportionate content of precious metals. Search for the stamp in the inner part of the jewelry – it is not printed directly on the outer surface. It is advisable to not buy any gold that is not stamped with the official hallmark attesting to its quality.
Some other tips for buying gold:
- Gold value is determined by a daily rate. You can find this rate at the gold souq and online.
- When buying jewelry and ornaments, gold shops will likely charge a craftsman/making fee per gram.
- Be sure to confirm the price per gram and the karat (Kuwait typically sells 22-18k for jewelry) and the price of the making charge per gram. These can be negotiated.
- Confirm, in writing, that the piece will be stamped prior to payment if you are ordering a custom piece. Otherwise visually confirm the stamp before purchasing an already made piece.
By Faten Omar