About 3.7 crore Jewellery articles have been hallmarked since 01st April 2022 till 31st July 2022 and 8.68 crore Jewellery articles were hallmarked in year 2021-2022 after the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) made hallmarking of Gold Jewellery mandatory which came into force from 23rd June, 2021. Number of BIS registered jewellers have increased from 43,153 on 01st July 2021 to 1,43,497 on 01st August 2022.
Few other achievements in the field since the release of mandatory hallmarking on 23rd June 2021 are as under :
- Registration of Jewellers was made free and valid for lifetime.
- Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) based hallmarking portal was launched on 01 July 2021 wherein the entire workflow in Assaying and Hallmarking centre (AHC) is automated and made online.
- Number of recognised AHCs have also increased from 948 on 01 July 2021 to 1,220 on 31 July 2022.
- Provision to check and authenticate hallmarked gold jewellery items with HUID number using ‘verify HUID’ in BIS CARE app was made live on 24 December 2021.
- Provision to allow a common consumer to get the purity of their unhallmarked gold jewellery tested at any of the BIS recognized AHCs was launched on 01 January 2022. The AHC shall undertake the testing of gold jewellery from common consumers on priority and provide a test report to the consumer. The test report issued to the consumer will assure the consumer about the purity of their jewellery and will be useful if the consumer wishes to sell the jewellery available with him.
The detailed guidelines on testing of gold jewellery of consumer and the list of recognized Assaying and Hallmarking centres can be accessed through the home page of BIS website, www.bis.gov.in
- Scheme for setting up of Off Site Centre(OSC) by existing AHCs to increase their reach and facilitate jewellers and consumers was launched on 01 January 2022. 08 OSCs have been set up till 31 July 2022.
Government of India took cognizance of the need for protecting consumers and decided to make Hallmarking of Gold jewellery and artefacts mandatory as Gold is too soft to withstand wear & tear, therefore, for jewellery making, gold is always alloyed with some other metal. The need for alloying of gold also makes public extremely vulnerable to excessive adulteration and detection of adulteration in gold is difficult without performing technical tests. The common consumer though well aware of such practices still has no option but to depend on the assurances given by traders.
Under Hallmarking Scheme of BIS registration is granted to jewellers for selling hallmarked jewellery and recognition is given to Assaying and Hallmarking Centres for hallmarking jewellery based on purity observed during testing. Hallmarking provides consumers i.e, jewellery buyers third party assurance and satisfaction that they get right purity of gold (or silver).
The implementation of Mandatory Hallmarking was carried out in two phases :
- First phase: 1st phase of Mandatory Hallmarking was successfully implemented with effect from 23 June 2021 vide Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Gold Artefacts Order, 2022. In this phase, 3 grades of gold articles viz 14 carat (585 fineness), 18 carat (750 fineness) and 22 carat (916 fineness) were covered under mandatory hallmarking order. In this phase, the order was implemented in 256 districts having at least one Assaying and Hallmarking Centre.
- Second phase: 2nd phase of mandatory hallmarking was implemented from 01 June 2022 vide Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Gold Artefacts (Amendment) Order, 2022, dated 04 April 2022. The second phase of the mandatory hallmarking covers three additional caratages of gold jewellery/artefacts viz. 20 carat (833 fineness), 23 (958 fineness) and 24 carats (995 fineness) as mentioned in the Indian Standard IS 1417.
The second phase covers additional 32 districts under the mandatory hallmarking regime wherein an Assaying and Hallmarking Centre (AHC) has been setup post implementation of the first phase of the mandatory hallmarking order. The list of 288 districts is available on the BIS website, www.bis.gov.in. More districts are likely to be covered under mandatory hallmarking order in due course of time.