Vijayawada: Even though Andhra Pradesh is the first and only state to have framed guidelines to curb malpractices in the jewellery trade, the implementation of guidelines has been unsatisfactory. Jewellers continue to dupe customers under the guise of tarugu. They also take advantage of people’s lack of awareness and trick them during weighing.
As per the rules, jewellers are not supposed to include the weight of stones and gems in the total weight of the ornament; the gold should be weighed separately. Jewellers are supposed to make separate mentions of the weight of gold and the weight of stones in the bill. But many small shops continue to weigh entire ornaments, along with the stones, and charge customers as per gold rates.
Jewellers also swindle customers by lying about the purity of gold. A senior official from the Department of Legal Metrology says that gold must be mixed with copper or other metals so as to be able to hold stones such as diamonds and sapphires. During the crafting of diamond jewellery, gold is mixed with copper and its purity reduces from 22 carats to 18 carats, however, jewellers charge customers based on the price of 22 carat gold.
The price of ornaments is to be determined based on the gold rate on the day of purchase, which means that ornaments cannot have MRPs. The bill is supposed to mention the gold rate for the day, the weight of gold, and its purity.
Another common occurrence is variance beyond the permissible limit for weighing scales. Every gold merchant is supposed to have a weighing scale with 1 mg accuracy. This implies that the margin of error should not be over 1 mg during the weighing of gold. However, gold merchants openly flout these norms, thus causing customers losses....