At present, as per the Bureau of Indian Standard's (BIS) website, gold hallmarking is allowed for 6 purity categories, namely, 14KT, 18KT, 20KT, 22KT, 23KT and 24KT. Thus, a jeweller does not have to mandatorily hallmark gold jewellery of other purity (say of 21KT or 19KT) before selling it. However, come June 1, this rule will change.
From June 1, 2022, jewellers can only sell hallmarked gold jewellery, irrespective of its purity. This would mean that every gold jewellery item irrespective of its purity. This would mean that every gold jewellery item irrespective of its caratage must be mandatorily hallmarked. BIS made this announcement via a notification dated 4 April 2022.
Effective from June 1, 2022, gold jewellers will not be able to sell any gold jewellery before it is hallmarked by BIS. Hallmarking is mandatory for all gold jewellery and gold artefacts bought by the customers irrespective of the purity grade of gold bought. Thus, an individual buying gold jewellery say of 12KT or of 16KT, then jeweller shop will be first required to get it hallmarked from BIS hallmarking centre and only then it can be sold to the customers.
Hallmarking on gold jewellery
Hallmarking of gold boosts the trust factor for the customer as it ensures that the gold that they are buying has exactly the same purity as mentioned in the hallmark.
When hallmarking was made mandatory for gold articles, it was not mandatory for 6 categories only 3. This created an avenue for jewellers to avoid being mandatorily regulated by manufacturing jewellery which was in slight variation from these purity levels.
The government had made gold hallmarking mandatory effective from June 16, 2021; this was done for items with cartage of 14KT, 18KT and 22 KT. It was later expanded to six caratages of gold jewellery/artefacts - i.e., 14,18,20,22, 23 and 24, effective from April 4, 2022.
The current amendment (effective from June 1, 2022) now makes hallmarking regulations applicable to all kind of gold jewellery and artefacts by removing these specific purity levels. Further, the current notification amends the list of districts where mandatory hallmarking will become applicable to gold jewellery.
The government has also revised the signs of purity on gold jewellery. From July 1, 2021, a hallmarked gold jewellery will have following three signs:
a) BIS logo
b) Purity/Fineness grade
c) Six-digit Alphanumeric code, also known as HUID
Prior to that there were four signs of hallmarking.
i) BIS logo,
ii) ii) Purity/Fineness grade,
iii) Assay Centre's identification mark and
iv) Jeweller's identification number.
The fineness or purity of gold jewellery will be reflected as follows on hallmarked item:
The jeweller will charge you Rs 35 additionally for every gold item that you buy as hallmarking charge.
Jewellery designers have welcomed the government’s new announcement and called it a great initiative. By enforcing this new rule in the jewellery business, the industry will see more trust in the customers to buy the gold. Marking with a BIS certification is the first step to gaining their faith..
Exemptions on hallmarking of gold jewellery
It is important to note that effective from June 1, 2022, all the gold jewellery and artefacts are mandatorily required to be hallmarked except for certain exempted items. Some of these items include: any gold article with weight less than two grams, any article of gold thread, special category of jewellery - Kundan, Polki and Jadaau, Gold bullion etc.