Consumers should buy only hallmarked jewellery on the auspicious occasion of Dhanteras and Diwali festivities. In an official statement, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and the Department of Consumer Affairs asked people to ''buy only hallmarked gold jewellery/silver jewellery artefacts from BIS-registered jewellers''.
In case the hallmark is not clearly visible by the naked eye, ask for a magnifying glass from jewellers, it advised.
With effect from June 23, 2021, hallmarking has been made mandatory in 256 districts of the country for 14, 18 and 22 karats of gold jewellery/ artefacts. These 256 districts are the districts where there is at least one assaying and hallmarking centre. Hallmarked jewellery can be sold only by BIS-registered jewellers.
The government also urged consumers to insist on bills for jewellery purchased.
''The bill or invoice of sale of hallmarked jewellery shall indicate separately description of each article, net weight of precious metal, purity in carat and fineness and hallmarking charges,'' the statement said.
Gold hallmarking, a purity certification of the precious metal, was voluntary in nature prior to June 16.
Gold hallmarks originated to show the purity of gold in a piece of gold jewellery and included the mark of the assaying office that certified the purity as well as the fineness or caratage of the gold. Later, trademarks that showed which goldsmith had manufactured the product were added, according to World Gold Council.
Three marks for hallmarked jewellery
The hallmarked gold jewellery artefacts consist of three marks -- BIS mark; purity in carat and fineness for gold (e.g. 22K916,18K750, 14K585 ); and six-digit alphanumeric HUID code AAAAAA.
The BIS hallmark is a hallmarking system for gold as well as silver jewellery sold in India certifying the purity of the metal. It certifies that the piece of jewellery conforms to a set of standards laid by the Bureau of Indian Standards, the national standards organization of India.
Hallmarking unique ID (HUID) for gold is similar to a PAN or Aadhar number for an individual. HUID will give a unique identity number to each piece of gold in the country. It will help track down the entire journey of that piece of gold from the point of sales to what happens with it after being purchased. The jeweller who sold it, the buyer who purchased it, whether that piece of gold is stored in a locker, turned into jewellery or simply went for reselling, HUID will tell you all.
With hallmarking, the intention is to track every piece of gold to its seller. It will determine accountability and safeguard the interests of gullible buyers from unethical trade practices. It will also discourage tax evasion.
'Caratage’ is the measurement of purity of gold alloyed with other metals. 24 carat is pure gold with no other metals. Lower caratages contain less gold; 18 carat gold contains 75 per cent gold and 25 per cent other metals, often copper or silver.
(With PTI inputs)