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 as a guarantee of purity or fineness of precious metal articles. The principal objectives of the Hallmarking Scheme are to protect the public against adulteration and to obligate manufacturers to maintain legal standards of fineness.
As per this scheme, the jewellery retailer/manufacturer desirous of obtaining a licence has to apply to BIS for use of Standard Mark (Hallmark). If the necessary documents and fees are found to be in order, the retailer receives licence to sell Hall Mark jewellery.Licence is granted to the jewellers by BIS under Hallmarking Scheme as per IS1417:2016 for Gold and IS 2112:2014 for Silver.
After grant of licence, the jeweller must follow a BIS-approved Scheme for certification. A BIS-certified jeweller has right to approach any of the BIS-recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centres to get his/her jewellery hallmarked. The recognition of an Assaying and Hallmarking Centre is done against IS 15820:2009. At present, there are more than 23,000 BIS-licenced jewellers and more than 600 BIS-recognized Hallmarking Centres operational in India.
A BIS recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centre can accept jewellery from any of the BIS certified jewellers for the purpose of hallmarking. However, the Hallmarking of the gold jewellery will be done only after ensuring the conformance of gold jewellery received from a jeweller with respect to declared fineness. The same is returned within 48 hours.
BIS maintains surveillance on assaying and hallmarking centres, at a defined periodicity. Market surveillance involves collection of hallmarked gold jewellery from licensee’s retail outlet/manufacturing premises and having it tested for conformity in BIS-recognized Hallmarking Centre.
Deviations in degree of purity of fine metal and observance of operations not in conformance to the system may result in cancellation of BIS licence, and invoke legal proceedings for penalties under the BIS Act, Rules and Regulations.
Bureau of Indian Standards has revised the Indian Standard on Gold Hallmarking, which has come into effect from 1st January, 2017. The Hallmarked Gold jewellery will now be available in three grades of 14 Carat, 18 Carat and 22 Carat. The caratage will also be marked on jewellery, in addition to fineness, for convenience of consumers; e.g. for 22 carat jewellery, 22K will be marked in addition to 916 (22K916); for 18 carat jewellery, 18K will be marked in addition to 750 (18K750); and for 14 carat jewellery, 14K will be marked in addition to 585 (14K585).
Hallmark on Gold Jewellery will now have following four marks, namely BIS Mark, Purity in carat and Fineness (e.g. 22K916 for 22 carat), identification mark of Assaying Centre and Jeweller’s identification mark. Hallmarking on Silver jewellery is permitted for 800, 835, 900, 925, 970 & 990 fineness.
Rs 35/- plus taxes per article for Gold Jewellery/ artefacts.
Rs 25/- plus taxes per article for Silver Jewellery/ artefacts.
Through this system, the BIS hallmark bestows additional confidence to the consumer on the purity of jewellery.
Consumer can get jewellery/sample tested from any BIS-Recognized Assaying & Hallmarking Centre. The Assaying and Hallmarking Centres undertake the testing of Jewellery/Samples of common consumers on priority on chargeable basis. The Hallmarking centre is required to issue Assay Report giving proper identifications as marked on article.
In case Hallmarked Jewellery brought by the consumer is found to be of lesser purity than that marked on jewellery, the testing charges would be refunded to the consumer by the centre who had Hallmarked the jewellery. The jeweller shall be obliged to satisfy the consumer through replacement as envisaged in the existing scheme.