The hallmarking scheme has become a success with over one crore of jewelry pieces being hallmarked in a very short time. The Government of India had made hallmarking of gold jewelry mandatory from June 16, 2021.
Furthermore, according to a statement by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, every day, nearly four lakh jewelry pieces are hallmarked in the country.
Increase in Number of Registered Jewelers
The number of registered jewelers in the country has increased. The Director-General, Bureau of Indian Standard, Pramod Kumar Tiwari said the number of registered jewelers has increased to 91,603 in the same period.
Furthermore, 1 crore, 17 lakh jewelry pieces were received for hallmarking while one crore two lakh jewelry pieces have been hallmarked from July 1, 2021, to August 20. During the time frame of July 1 to July 15, the number of jewelers who sent their jewelry for hallmarking increased from 5,145 to 14,349 from August 1 to August 15, 2021; and 861 assaying and hallmarking centres (AHCs) started hallmarking as per the HUID-based system.
There has also been an increase in the number of hallmarking since it has been mandated to hallmark gold items. During the fortnight July 1 to July 15, 2021, 14.28 lakh pieces were hallmarked. The numbers increased to 41.81 lakh from August 1 to August 15. On a single day, (August 20, 2021) 3,90,000 jewelry pieces were hallmarked.
However, what is Hallmarking?
Hallmarking is the process of inscribing a hallmark on any item of jewelry. A hallmark is the symbol of quality. It refers to a mark that is inscribed on jewelry items made up of platinum, gold, palladium, or silver. It shows that the item has been tested and verified and is a sign of purity and legality of the product.
Hallmarking is an assurance to the consumer about the product being certified of standard, quality, and fineness of precious metal articles.
According to the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS), the National Standard Body of India, “hallmarking is the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in precious metal articles.” The BIS is responsible for the harmonious development of activities of standardization, marking, and quality certification of goods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
Government’s Hallmarking Scheme?
On June 15, 2021, the Government of India made hallmarking of gold jewelry mandatory, in effect from June 16, 2021. The jewelers with annual turnover up to Rs. 40 lakh have been exempted from mandatory hallmarking though.
According to it, hallmarking became mandatory in 256 districts having AHC. Hallmarking has been allowed for 20, 23, and 24 carats of gold jewelry. However, watches, fountain pens, and special types of jewelry such as Kundan, Polki, and Jadau are exempted from hallmarking.
The Government has also made the registration process simpler and waived the fee against it.
Further, with the use of software and technology, jewelry handling improved at the AHC level too. The government also took steps to create awareness regarding it. For this, 300 awareness camps have been held so far, and help desks have been set up at the headquarters and branch offices. The Advisory Committee also reviews the issues concerning hallmarking and submits its report to DoCA.
How is it benefiting the industry and the customers?
Hallmark is the symbol of it being genuine. While consumers can trust the product they are buying, to the jewelers it opens related opportunities. In addition to this, hallmarking of jewelry/artefacts enhances the credibility of gold jewelry and customer satisfaction through third-party assurance for the marked purity/fineness of gold, consumer protection. This step will also help to develop India as a leading gold market center in the World.
For the consumers, hallmarking will enable them to make the right choice and save them from any unnecessary confusion while buying gold. The HUID-based hallmarking bring transparency in the functioning of the industry, ensures consumers’ right to get the right material for their money. Hallmarks also provide consumers the benefit to get a true valuation of gold and their savings.
The Jewelers, on the other hand, can continue to buy back old gold jewelry without hallmarks from the consumers.
The other advantage is that hallmarking ensures safe reliable quality goods while also minimizing health hazards to consumers through standardization, certification, and testing.