Context: The Centre will go ahead with its plan to mandate hallmarking of gold jewellery from June 1. Currently about 40% of gold jewellery is sold with a hallmark.


What is hallmark?

  • Hallmarking is the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in precious metal articles. 
  • It certifies that the piece of jewellery conforms to a set of standards laid by the Bureau of Indian Standards, the national standards organization of India.
  • As per this scheme, Registration 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.

Components of hallmark: BIS hallmark for gold jewellery consists of several components:

  • Purity in carat and Fineness (any one)
    • a) 22K916 – Equal to 22 Carat
    • b) 18K750 – Equal to 18 Carat
    • c) 14K585 – Equal to 14 Carat
  • Identification Mark or Number of the Hallmarking Centre’s
  • Identification Mark or number of the Jeweller’s
    • Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is authorised to carry out the hallmarking of gold jewellery and any jewellery can apply for a license before getting their jewellery hallmarked from them. 
    • The BIS (Bureau of Indian standards) Act 2016 has to enable provisions under Section 14 & Section 16 for making hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts mandatory by the Central Government.

Image source: IndiaTV

Key points:

  • Penal action: As per the new rules, if jewellery or an artefact made of 14-, 18- or 22-carat gold is sold without the BIS hallmark, the jeweller could be penalised five times the cost of the object or imprisoned for up to one year.
  • Registration: The entire process of BIS certification had become automated. 
    • Providing an incentive to start-ups and women entrepreneurs, the BIS had reduced the minimum marking fee by 50%.
    • So far 34,647 jewellers had registered with the BIS and that in the next two months this number was expected to go up to one lakh. 
  • Benefits:
    • The principle objectives of the Hallmarking Scheme are to protect the public against adulteration and to obligate manufacturers to maintain legal standards of fineness.
    • Mandatory hallmarking would protect the public against lower caratage.
    • It will ensure consumers did not get cheated while buying gold ornaments and got the purity as marked on the ornaments.

What is BIS?

  • BIS is the National Standard Body of India established under the BIS Act 2016 for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods.

Significance of BIS

  • BIS is working towards ‘One Nation, One Standard’ to remove multiplicity, duplicacy of efforts and to bring more clarity among consumers, manufacturers and to facilitate trade.

Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) Act 2016 

  • The Act establishes the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as the National Standards Body of India. 
  • The Act has enabled provisions for the Government to bring under compulsory certification regime any goods or articles of any scheduled industry, process, system.
  • Enabling provisions have also been made for making hallmarking of precious metal articles mandatory.