Hallmarking made must for gold jewellery

Representational image.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

No jeweller will be allowed to sell gold jewellery or artefacts without hallmark from the Bureau of Indian Standards from January 15, 2021, onwards, Consumer Affairs Minister Ramvilas Paswan announced on Tuesday.

If jewellery or artefacts made of 14, 18 and 22 carat gold are sold without a BIS hallmark, then the jeweller could face a huge penalty and even imprisonment.

The penalty may be worth five times the cost of the object and the imprisonment up to one year. 

Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and is voluntary in nature at present. The BIS is already running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000 and around 40% of gold jewellery is being hallmarked currently. “This will become mandatory from January 15, 2021. We will give one year time for implementation. Jewellers will be allowed to sell only 14, 18 and 22-carat gold jewellery,” Mr. Paswan told a press conference.

Instead of 10 grades earlier, hallmarked gold jewellery will now be available in three grades of 14 carat, 18 carat and 22 carat, he said.

Jewellers have been given a year’s time to register themselves with the BIS. “There are only 28849 jewellers so far registered with us. We don’t have an exact estimate of the number of jewellers in the country but it could be 3-4 lakhs,” BIS scientist R.S. Pasriche said. The BIS will also be expanding its hallmarking centres. So far there are 892 centres across the country. Mr. Paswan said each district will now get one. 

Consumers have to watch out for four marks on hallmarked gold jewellery: BIS mark, purity in carat, assay centre’s name and jewellers’ identification mark. 

Mr. Paswan clarified that people who want to exchange their old gold jewellery which doesn’t carry a hallmark won’t be troubled. “This is only for jewellers who are selling new gold jewellery. The common man will not be harassed,” he said. The Minister said mandatory hallmarking will protect the public against lower caratage and ensure consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments and get the purity as marked on the ornaments. “This will bring in transparency and assure the consumers of quality. It will also save them from fraud,” Mr. Paswan added.

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 10:13:23 AM |

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