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What is hallmarking of gold, and for whom is it now mandatory?

Topics Covered: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

What is hallmarking of gold, and for whom is it now mandatory?


Context:

The government has announced the phased implementation of mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery with effect from June 16.

Applicability:

In the first phase, gold hallmarking will be available in only in 256 districts and jewellers having annual turnover above Rs 40 lakh will come under its purview.

What is hallmarking of gold?

Hallmarking is the “accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in precious metal articles.

  • So, it is like a “guarantee of purity or fineness” of precious metal articles.

The Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) operates gold and silver hallmarking scheme in India.

Metals covered under the purview of hallmarking:

  1. Gold jewellery and gold artefacts.
  2. Silver jewellery and silver artefacts.

Exceptions:

  1. Export and re-import of jewellery as per Trade Policy of Government of India — Jewellery for international exhibitions, jewellery for government-approved B2B domestic exhibitions.
  2. Watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery such as Kundan, Polki and Jadau.

What was the need of making hallmarking mandatory?

  1. India is the biggest consumer of gold. However, the level of hallmarked jewellery is very low in the country- only 30% of Indian gold jewellery is hallmarked. Main reason behind this is non-availability of sufficient assaying and hallmarking centres (A&HC).
  2. The mandatory hallmarking will protect the public against lower caratage and ensure consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments.
  3. It will also help to get the purity as marked on the ornaments.
  4. It will bring in transparency and assure the consumers of quality.

 

Insta Curious: 

Why is the gold which has come from Yanomami territory called Blood Gold? Read here, 

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. About Hallmarking.
  2. Implementing agency.
  3. Applicability.
  4. Exceptions.
  5. Benefits.

Mains Link:

Discuss the need for hallmarking of gold in India.

Sources: Indian Express.