However, the purity of gold has always been of great concern for households in India. We are all well aware that large scale sales of gold are prevalent in India which is far from pure gold. All over India corers of people are being cheated by jewelers. They can inflate prices on one pretext or other, but quality of gold content has certainly shown some improvement. However, in smaller towns where there is a tradition of family jewellers, who frankly speaking really betray the gullible poor customers. In the name that they are ready to buy back gold any time, they are able to sell gold with lots of impurities.
In order to solve above mentioned issue, Government of India' has identified BIS a sole agency in India to operate this scheme. BIS hallmarking Scheme is voluntary in nature and is operating under BIS Act, Rules and Regulations. It operates on the basis of trust and thus it is desirable that aspect of quality control are in built in the system responsible for managing quality.
The BIS Hallmarking Scheme has been aligned with International criteria on hallmarking (Vienna Convention 1972). As per this scheme, license is granted to the jewellers by BIS under Hallmarking Scheme. The BIS certified jewellers can get their jewelry hallmarked from any of the BIS recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centre. The recognition to an Assaying and Hallmarking Centre is given against BIS criteria which is in line with International criteria on Marking and Control of Precious metals. Hallmarking will provide clear indication of his capability, strong evidence of commitment to quality and assurance of consistency in purity and quality of gold (or silver) jewelry. Hallmarking does not add to the cost of Gold jewelry because Hallmarking charges for gold jewelry are Rs.25/- per article only.
BIS hallmark for gold jewelry consists of five components:
• The BIS logo
• A three digit number (out of a set of six pre-defined values) indicating the purity of the gold
in part-per- thousand-format viz; 958, 916, 875, 750, 585, 375. Thus a BIS 916 hallmark
would certify to a purity of 916 per 1000, that is 91.6%, translating to a 22 carat purity
• Purity grade
958 Corresponding to 23 Carat
916 Corresponding to 22 Carat
875 Corresponding to 21 Carat
750Corresponding to 18 Carat
585 Corresponding to 14 Carat
375 Corresponding to 9 Carat
Logo of the assaying centre
A code denoting the year of hallmarking e.g.
‘A’ is 2000
‘B’ – 2001
‘C’ – 2002
‘D’ – 2003
‘E’ – 2004
‘F’ – 2005
‘G’ – 2006
‘H’ – 2007
‘J’ – 2008
'K' – 2009
'L' – 2010
'M' – 2011
Logo/code of the jeweller
The marking is done either using punches or laser marking machine.
As per this scheme the jewelry retailer/manufacturer desirous of obtaining a license apply to BIS for use of Standard Mark (Hallmark) on their jewelry. If the application submitted with necessary documents and fees is found in order, license is granted to the jeweller within 7 working days.
After grant of license, the jeweller (retailer/manufacturer) has to follow a BIS approved Scheme for certification. A BIS certified jewellers (retailer/manufacturers) has right to register himself with any of the BIS recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centers to get his jewelry hallmarked. BIS maintains surveillance on the certified jewellers, at a defined periodicity. Market surveillance involves collection of hallmarked gold jewelry 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 license, and evoke legal proceedings for penalties under the BIS Act, Rules and Regulations.
An Assaying Centre desirous of obtaining recognition shall apply to BIS along with their Quality Manual ensuring implementation of BIS criteria on hallmarking and Quality Management System by the Centre. After ensuring the adequacy of the Quality Manual documented by the Centre with respect to all the requirements of the BIS criteria and commitment of top Management to implement Quality Management system, a Preliminary Visit of the centre is planned by BIS.
The main objectives of the Preliminary visit are to verify the implementation level of Quality Management System and availability of infrastructure. An assessment of the centre is carried out by a team of trained/expert officials from BIS or from organizations of repute in India like India Govt. Mint (IGM). During the assessment, implementation of the documented system, availability of sampling and hallmarking facilities, availability of complete testing facilities as per IS 1417:1999 and IS 1418:1999, competence of manpower and their training, availability of adequate safety and security arrangement and commitment to follow BIS guidelines issued from time to time is ensured. Based on satisfactory assessment report of the assessment team, recognition is granted to a centre for a period of 3 years.
A BIS recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centre can register any of the BIS certified jewellers for the purpose of hallmarking. However, the Hallmarking of the Gold jewelry will be done only after ensuring the conformance of gold jewelry received from a particular jeweller with respect to declared fineness. The same is returned within 48 hrs. BIS maintains strict surveillance on the Hallmarking Centre during which visits are paid to the Centre and the purity/fineness of the hallmarked samples verified. The recognition of the hallmarking centre after 3 years is renewed based on the satisfactory performance during surveillance assessment.