IT is a precious metal bought mainly for cultural purposes, investment or to adorn as part of one's dressing.
Hindus believe it brings good luck if bought on the fifth day after the Hindu festival of lights, Deepawali which is commonly known as Diwali.
With Diwali less than a month away from today, many Hindus would no doubt have started planning for the festival and buying of the precious metal — gold.
But many people do not know what to look out for when buying or even selling gold and they are gullible to what is told to them by the sales assistant or even the jeweller.
According to the Consumer Council of Fiji, gold is preferred by many people because of its colour and the fact that it does not have an expiry date or go bad.
Council chief executive officer Premila Kumar says fraud and deception come in when alloy is added to the gold, saying "that's where gold has to be tested".
"One can buy gold based on hallmark, where numbers are used to say how many carats gold it is and if no testing facilities are available, then people should look at this," she said.
Mrs Kumar said 958 corresponds to 23 carat, 916 to 22 carat, 875 to 21 carat, 750 to 18 carat, 585 to 14 carat and 375 to nine carat gold.
She said the council has been receiving complaints from people, including tourists, of being tricked by the goldsmith.
In the past five years, the council received 41 complaints from people who were tricked by the goldsmith into buying something that was not of the same grade as stated to them.
"The nature of the complaints is generally related to 18 carat gold being sold to consumers as 22 carat gold," said Mrs Kumar.
"For example, if the chain breaks, then the consumer ends up paying more for repairs and when there's some other problem with the jewellery, then the goldsmith gives a big explanation.
"Also, consumers who sell their gold jewellery should know that they are selling gold and there's no such thing as old or new gold — gold is gold.
"People should know that whatever gold jewellery they sell is sold by weight and not by design or anything else, as some people have been conned when selling their gold."
Mrs Kumar said the worst thing happening in Fiji now was trade-in, where people take their gold jewellery to the shops to trade them in and buy some other jewellery.
She said people were often given a far less price for their gold jewellery in trade-in deals.
Mrs Kumar said people should know the finer details when either buying or selling their excess jewellery because after all, it would be a matter of money.