The Indian government will enforce mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts from tomorrow. As per the new guidelines, jewellers across India will now be allowed to sell gold items of only 14, 18 and 22 carats from June 15, 2021 onwards.
Hallmark is a purity certification for gold. Currently, only 40 percent of gold jewellery sold in India is being hallmarked. Furthermore, only 35,879 of India’s approximately 4 lakh jewellers are currently BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) certified, according to the World Gold Council.
As per the government, hallmarking centres have grown by 25 percent in the last five years. With the existing capabilities at certification centres, India has the capacity to hallmark around 14 crore articles per year.
The move to enforce mandatory nationwide gold hallmarking was first announced by the government in November 2019. The original deadline of January 15, 2021 had to be extended twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier, the government had set the deadline for June 1 but the second wave forced a delay of two more weeks
While gold hallmarking is currently voluntary in India and not a requirement, the move by the government aims to ensure gold consumers are not cheated by sellers.
A new committee is being formed to oversee the implementation process and ensure smooth coordination. Pramod Tewari, the Director-General of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), will head this committee. The BIS is also running a gold hallmarking scheme since April 2000.
Here’s what you need to know about how the government’s new guidelines impact your future gold purchase:
- From June 15 onwards, Indian jewellers will sell gold jewellery products of only 14, 18 and 22 carats.
- The gold hallmark registration process has been brought online and made automatic.
- The mandatory hallmarking process will safeguard customers buying gold from being fooled with lower caratage jewellery.
- For customers, buying an 18-carat certified gold product means that 18 out of 24 parts of the item is pure gold with alloy making up the remaining quarter.
Customers can identify hallmarked gold with the help of 4 symbols of purity:
- BIS Mark
- Carat and Fineness Purity – 22, 18 and 14 carats
- Hallmarking Centre’s identification mark/ number
- The Jeweller’s identification mark/ number.
It is vital that as a customer you buy only those gold ornaments that are hallmarked. With mandatory hallmarking, customers can be assured that they get gold products that guarantee purity as marked on items.