The annual consumption of gold which was estimated at 65 tonnes in 1982, has increased to over 800 tonnes presently. About 80% is for jewellery fabrication (mainly 22 carat purity) for domestic demand, 15% for investor demand and barely 5% for industrial use. According to a FICCI study, the gold processing industry has around 15000 players, with around 80 units having revenues over US $ 5 million. India is also home to around 4,50,000 gold smiths, over 100,000 gold jewellers, along with about 6000 diamonds- processing players and 8000 diamond jewellers.
Hallmarking is the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in precious metal articles. Hallmarks are thus official marks used in many countries as a guarantee of purity or fineness of precious metal articles. The principle objectives of the Hallmarking Scheme are to protect the public against adulteration and to obligate manufacturers to maintain legal standards of fineness. In India, at present two precious metals namely gold and silver have been brought under the purview of Hallmarking.
The BIS Hallmarking Scheme has been aligned with International criteria on hallmarking.
It has now become mandatory for all jewellers to hallmark gold jewellery. The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution issued a Govt. Press Release on January 14, 2021 stating that it will give one year’s time to jewellers and retailers to register themselves with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and clear their old stock.
As per this scheme, Registered is granted to the jewellers by BIS under Hallmarking Scheme. The BIS certified jewellers can get their jewellery hallmarked from any of the BIS recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centres. The recognition of an Assaying and Hallmarking Centre is done against IS 15820:2009.
BRIEF ON HALLMARKING SCHEME
Hallmarking of Jewellery
For hallmarking of jewellery, a jeweler who wants to sell hallmarked jewellery has to obtain a registration from BIS.
The registered jeweler submits the jewellery for hallmarking to BIS recognized Assaying & Hallmarking (A&H) centre. A&H centres are the testing centres where the jewellery is tested. After testing, the A&H centre applies hallmark on the jewellery which is found meeting the requirement of the standard.
Hallmarked Jewellery consist of following four marks:
- BIS Mark
- In case of Gold jewellery/artefacts : in carat and fineness for gold (eg. 22K916, 18K750, 14K585 )
- In case of silver jewelery/artefacts : only fineness of 990, 970, 925, 900, 835, 800
- Assay centre’s identification mark / number
- Jewellers identification mark/number
The Indian Standard on Gold Hallmarking IS 1417:2016
Gold alloy of 14, 18 and 22 carats is covered under mandatory hallmarking.
The exemptions under mandatory hallmarking order are as follows:-
- (a) any article meant for export, which conforms to any specification required by the foreign buyer;
- (b) an article with weight less than two grams;
- (c) an article which is in course of consignment from outside India to an assaying and hallmarking centre in India recognised as per the Bureau of Indian Standards (Hallmarking) Regulations, 2018, for hallmarking;
- (d) any article which is intended to be used for medical, dental, veterinary, scientific or industrial purposes
- (e) any article of gold thread;
- (f) any manufactured article which is not substantially complete, and which is intended for further manufacture;
- (g) gold bullion in any shape of bar, plate, sheet, foil, rod, wire, strip, tube or coin.
- (h) Export and re-import of jewellery as per Trade policy of Government of India.
- (i) Jewellery for International Exhibitions.
- (j) Jewellery for domestic Business-to -Business exhibitions, approved by Government. agency
- (k) Special categories of jewellery -Kundan, Polki and Jadaau.
- (l) Jewellers with the annual turnover of upto Rs.40 lakh per annum
- (m) Gold watch and fountain pen.
Hallmarking of Bullion & Coins
Hallmarking of Gold Bullion (including coins) is not mandatory.
For hallmarking of gold bullion and coins of fineness 995 and 999 parts per thousand a refinery or a mint obtains a license and applies hallmark during the manufacturing
Design and Weight of Bullion Bar or Gold coin No negative tolerance shall be permitted on declared weight.
The following information shall also be given on BIS Certified gold coin/bullion/packing of each coin:
- BIS Standard Mark (on coin/bullion or its packing)
- Name/identification of the Manufacturer
- Weight (in g)
- Customer logo as agreed between purchase and supplier(if any)
- Serial Number traceable back to Manufacturer’s records, in case of coins serial number may be marked on packing