In November 2019, the government had announced that hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefacts would be made mandatory across the country from January 15, 2021.
However, the deadline was extended for four months till June 1 and later till June 15 after the jewellers sought more time in view of the pandemic.
What is hallmarking
Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal and is a mark of its fineness. It enhances credibility of the jewellery or artefact and ensures customer satisfaction through third party assurance.
Till today, this process was voluntary in nature. However, the government has now made it mandatory.
The entire process will be implemented in a phased manner and initially in 256 districts of the country which have Assaying marking centres.
As a results, jewellers in these districts will be allowed to sell only 14, 18 and 22 carats of gold jewellery.
The BIS has been running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000. Around 40 per cent of gold jewellery is being hallmarked currently.
Who all are exempted
After extensive consultation with stakeholders, the government relaxed mandatory hallmarking of gold for certain players in the jewellery sector.
Jewellers with annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh have been exempted from mandatory hallmarking.
Traders engaged in export and re-import of jewellery as per the government’s trade policy are also exempted from mandatory hallmarking.
Further, jewellery meant for international exhibitions as well as for government-approved B2B domestic exhibitions are also not covered in this directive.
Mandatory hallmarking has also been exempted on gold watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery like ‘kundan’, ‘polki’ and ‘jadau’.
Benefits for consumers
The move will protect the public against lower cartage and ensure consumers do not get cheated while buying gold jewellery. It will also ensure that they get the purity as marked on the ornaments.
Traders hail decision
Welcoming the Centre’s decision, a jeweller told news agency News Today 24 that hallmarked articles will ascertain the year in which they were manufactured because provenance is an important part of jewellery which lasts for generations.
(With inputs from agencies)