Decoding the new gold hallmarking rules
Gold hallmarking is the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious gold metal articles. Hallmarking is done of six caratages of gold jewellery/ artefacts, viz. 14, 18, 20, 22, 23 and 24 carats. While, the mandatory hallmarking is surely a welcome move for the consumers, let us take a quick look at the set regulations.
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the national standards body of India through its network of regional/branch offices all over the country operates the hallmarking scheme for gold and silver jewellery. Regular surveillance audit of assaying and hallmarking centres and testing of random market samples drawn from registered jewellers.
Hallmarking provides third party assurance and satisfaction that customer gets right purity of gold (or silver) for the given price (value for money).
Hallmarked gold jewellery has five marks: BIS mark, purity in carat, assay centre’s name, jewellers’ identification mark and year of hallmarking.
Points to take note while purchasing gold jewellery
- a) Check the BIS certificate of registration displayed in the shop.
- b) Check hallmark, consisting of five marks, on the article with the help of a magnifying glass of 10 X magnification available in the shop.
- c) Do not forget to take the bill/cash memo which should mention hallmarking cost, net weight of gold, purity in carat and fineness on the bill/cash memo.
The new gold hallmarking rules
The central government has made it mandatory for the jewellers to sell only hallmarked jewellery. The mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery is coming into force from 16th June, 2021.
A few points of latest government order
- The hallmarking scheme has started with 256 districts of the country, which have assaying and hallmarking centres.
- At present, 943 assaying and hallmarking centres are operational in the country.
- Jewellers with annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh will be exempted from mandatory hallmarking. Watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery like kundan, polki and jadau will also be exempted.
- Export and re-import of jewellery as per the Trade Policy of Government of India – Jewellery for international exhibitions, jewellery for government-approved business to business domestic exhibitions will not be hallmarked.
- According to the government order, any manufacturer, importer, wholesaler, distributor or retailer engaged in selling precious metal articles has to mandatorily get registered with the BIS. The registration process will be one-time and there will be no fees charged from jewellers for it.
- Artisans or manufacturers who are manufacturing the gold jewellery on job work basis for the jewellers and are not directly related to sale to anyone in the chain are exempted for registration, the government said.
- Gold of additional carats i.e. 20, 23 and 24 will also be allowed for hallmarking.
- The ministry in its release clarified that old un-hallmarked jewellery available in households can be sold to jewellers. It said that that, jewellers can continue to buy back old gold jewellery without hallmark from consumer and in order to give adequate time to the manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of gold jewellery, there would be no penalties till August end.
- BIS (Hallmarking) regulations were implemented with effect from June 14, 2018. According to BIS, hallmarking will enable jewellery buyers to make the right choice and save them from any unnecessary confusion while buying gold.
Is the order applicable to gold bullion and coins also?
No, the order is applicable for gold jewellery and artefacts only. Gold bullion/coins of 999/995 fineness are permitted to be hallmarked by BIS approved Refinery/Mints (39 licensed refineries are in operation at present as on 01 Jan 2021). The list of BIS licensed Refineries/Mints is available at BIS website www.bis.gov.in under the hallmarking tab.
Information on hallmarking
All the information regarding hallmarking in detail has been provided at BIS website, www.bis.gov.in under hallmarking section. The information includes procedure and guidelines for jewellers and hallmarking centre, all the forms and list of registered jewellers and hallmarking centres etc.
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