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What is KDM Gold? Why was it banned?

April 28, 2023

Table of Contents

    Table of Contents

      Get the inside scoop on this fascinating topic and discover what KDM gold is and why it has become such a hot-button issue in the jewellery world.

      KDM gold is one of the most searched for types of Gold in the world.

      It has its benefits but has also been considered controversial in the recent past and was banned by the Indian government due to certain side effects.

      Lets take a deeper look into KDM gold, and how it is different from hallmark gold in 2023.

      What is KDM Gold?

      KDM gold is an alloy form of Gold and Cadmium which consists of 92% of Gold and 8% of Cadmium. KDM Gold gets its name from Cadmium (also known as Kadmium).

      KDM gold composition

      Also known as Cadmium Gold, KDM Gold was widely used across India, as it allowed the jewellers to create intricate jewellery designs while maintaining the purity of the Gold.

      The difference between KDM gold, 916 gold and 24 karat gold mainly lies in the composition and percentage of pure gold used.

      The Origins of KDM Gold

      Gold jewellery is an intricate art form, which involves bending and reshaping gold into different forms to achieve a beautiful collection of jewellery that's available in the market.

      In its pure form Gold (24 carat gold) cannot be reshaped into jewellery, as it is too soft for this purpose.

      So a mixture of Gold and another metal is used for this purpose through the method of soldering. Soldering is a process in which high temperature is used to blend metals.

      Hence it was important that the metal used along with Gold have a lower melting point than Gold.

      Initially, the use of gold and copper alloys was popular for jewellery making. A composition of 60% Gold and 40% copper was used to create the alloy. It had certain advantages like ease of use but it had one big disadvantage.

      The percentage of gold was less and the purity was reduced during the jewellery-making process due to impurities. Hence you will find old jewellery's marked as 20/22 carat.

      This paved the way for KDM gold as it allowed 92% of Gold to be used in alloys which ensured high-purity gold jewellery.

      Why was KDM Gold Popular?

      KDM gold was a popular choice for jewellery in India because of its affordability, durability, and malleability.

      Traditional Indian jewellery often features intricate designs and patterns, which require a high degree of skill and expertise to create.

      KDM gold's malleability made it easier for jewellers to work with, allowing them to create intricate designs and patterns with greater ease.

      Additionally, KDM gold's durability meant that jewellery made from this alloy would last longer and require less maintenance than jewellery made from other types of gold alloys.

      Furthermore, the affordability of KDM gold made it accessible to a wider range of consumers.

      Pure gold is often expensive, especially for lower-income families, but KDM gold price was an affordable alternative without compromising on the quality of the jewellery.

      KDM Gold Ban in India

      The Indian government, through the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), banned the use of cadmium in all types of jewellery.

      According to 1417:1999 clause 6.2 of the BIS, hallmarking cannot be done on Cadmium soldered jewellery.

      Cadmium, one of the primary metals used in KDM gold, was found to be toxic and can cause a range of health problems if ingested.

      Cadmium can also be absorbed through the skin, which poses a risk to jewellers who work with KDM gold on a regular basis.

      The ban was implemented after several studies showed that cadmium levels in jewellery made from KDM gold were higher than the permissible limit set by the BIS.

      The ban was enforced and jewellers were required to adhere to the new regulations or face penalties.

      FAQs about KDM Gold - 

      Q) What is the full form of KDM gold?

      Answer - KDM stands for Kadmium. It is an alloy of gold and cadmium with the divisions being 92% gold and 8% cadmium. KDM gold was used in the past to solder gold jewellery pieces together, but it has since been banned by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) due to health concerns.

      Q) What's the difference between 916 Hallmark gold and KDM gold?

      Answer - The main difference between 916 hallmark gold and KDM gold is that 916 hallmark gold does not contain cadmium. 916 hallmark gold is an alloy of gold and other metals, such as copper and zinc, that has a purity of 91.6%. KDM gold, on the other hand, has a purity of 92%.

      Q) What is the price of KDM gold?

      Answer - The price of KDM gold is not regulated by the BIS, so it can vary from jeweller to jeweller. However, it is generally more expensive than 916 hallmark gold. It is important to note that KDM gold is no longer recommended for use in jewellery.

      If you are looking for a safe and affordable option, 916 hallmark gold is a better choice.