Q Why is it in News ?
A Hallmarking scheme is turning out to be a grand success with more than 1 crore pieces of Jewelry hallmarked in a quick time” with more than 90000 Jewelers registered in a same time period.
Q What is Hallmark Gold?
- The process of certifying the purity and fineness of gold is called hallmarking.
- Bureau of Indian Standards, the National Standards Body of India, is responsible for hallmarking gold as well as silver jewellery under the BIS Act.
- If you see the BIS hallmark on the gold jewellery/gold coin, it means it conforms to a set of standards laid by the BIS. Hallmarking gives consumers assurance regarding the purity of the gold they bought.
- That is, if you are buying hallmarked 18K gold jewellery, it will actually mean that 18/24 parts are gold and the rest is alloy.
- At present, only 30% of Indian Gold Jewellery is hallmarked.
Here are the four components one must look at the time of buying gold (they are mentioned in the laser engraving of a hallmark seal):
- BIS Hallmark: Indicates that its purity is verified in one of its licensed laboratories
- Purity in carat and fineness (corresponding to given caratage KT)
- 22K916 (91.6% Purity)
- 18K750 (75% Purity)
- 14K585 (58.5% Purity)
Q What is HUID?
- HUID is a unique code that will be given to every piece of jewellery at the time of hallmarking.
- It will be helpful in identifying the jeweller or the Assaying and Hallmarking Centres (AHCs) which had hallmarked the jewellery.
- It will be a six-digit alphanumeric code, with which every piece of jewellery will be tagged.
- At the hallmarking centre, the jewellery is stamped with the unique number manually.
Q What are the new hallmarking rules?
- The government has made it mandatory for jewellers to hallmark gold jewellery, but with some relaxation.
- Jewellers with an annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh will be exempted from mandatory hallmarking.
- Similarly, jewellery for international exhibitions and government-approved business-to-business domestic exhibitions will also be exempted.
- It will also allow hallmarking of additional carats 20, 23, and 24.
Q What are issues with HUID ?
- Jewellers say the HUID process has increased the time required to get the hallmarking on jewels and this has created huge backlogs at AHCs.
- Since the process is being done manually, there are also chances of a mismatch of the code, he adds.
- The inventory pile-up at the centres is also raising concerns about the security of the jewellery.
- Several industry stakeholders point out the limited number of AHCs, which will not be enough to hallmark the large number of pieces that are sold in India every year.