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What is hallmarking of gold?
May 31, 2007 12:07 IST
Last Updated: May 31, 2007 16:59 IST
Are you looking for purity when you purchase the gold jewellery? If so, ensure that you buy the precious metals like gold hallmarked by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
Hallmark has been acting as a safeguard to purchasers of gold and gold articles for centuries in various countries. In simple terms, Hallmark is a purity certification of gold articles in accordance with Indian Standard specifications.
Who provides the hallmark in India?
The Bureau of Indian Standards, the country'a apex standards body, is involved in the development of technical standards (popularly known as Indian Standards), product quality and management system certifications and consumer affairs in all matters concerning standardisation, certification and quality.
Hallmark consists of five components i.e. BIS Mark, the fineness number (corresponding to given caratage), Assaying and Hallmarking Centre's mark, jeweller's mark and year of marking denoted by a code letter and decided by BIS (e.g. code letter 'A' was approved by BIS for year 2000, 'B' being used for the year 2001 and 'C' for 2002). The marking is done either using punches or laser marking machine.
As per this scheme the jewellery retailer/manufacturer desirous of obtaining a licence apply to BIS for use of Standard Mark (hallmark) on their jewellery. After registration, BIS officials conduct a preliminary inspection for verification of premises retailing/manufacturing, testing facilities and competence of testing personnel. A sample is drawn from the jewellers retail/manufacturing premises for independent testing. Based on the satisfactory preliminary inspection report and test report of the sample drawn during inspection, licence is granted to the jeweller.
After getting the licence, the jeweller (retailer/manufacturer) has to follow a BIS approved scheme of testing and inspection on a continuing basis to have confidence in the homogeneity and purity of the gold jewellery offered for hallmarking.
A BIS certified jewellers (retailer/manufacturers) has right to register himself with any of the BIS recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centres to get his jewellery hallmarked. BIS maintains surveillance on the certified jewellers, 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 recognised Hallmarking Centre.
Yes. 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.
The principal objective of assaying and hallmarking is to protect a consumer against victimization of irregular gold quality. Besides consumer satisfaction, hallmarking helps to create an export competitiveness of gold jewellery industry thus provide strong impetus for gold jewellery exports.
The jewelers with BIS license of Hallmark Gold Jewellery provide clear indication of their capabilities, strong evidence of their commitment to quality, assurance of consistence in purity and quality of gold jewellery.