BIS Narrows Hallmarking Norms for Gold Jewellery

BISMumbai: The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs (MCA) has made hallmarking of gold ornaments mandatory for three categories beginning the New Year, reports Business Standard.

Effective January 1, jewellers will need to hallmark the 22, 18 and 14 carat jewellery they sell to consumers. At present, gold ornaments with all purity levels between 9 and 24 carat are available for consumers but hallmarking is not compulsory, though organised sector jewellers offer hallmarked gold jewellery in 22 carat and diamond studded jewellery in 18 carat.

Since consumers demand ornaments in other carats too, jewellers make ornaments in as many as seven other carat levels beyond these three categories. However, as per BIS, these ornaments will not be hallmarked, leading to a trust deficit between the jeweller and the customer.

Around a quarter of the stock currently on display in retail shops would be out of the hallmarking net. In case jewellers seek to hallmark such ornaments, they need to scrap ornaments for melting and manufacturing jewellery again which would add cost to produce the same jewellery with changed purity level in order to adhere to the BIS hallmark norm.

“Gold and gold alloys shall be classified in accordance with their fineness in grades of 22, 18 and 14 carat. These classifications are applicable for gold jewellery/artefacts also. The maximum permissible limits of cadmium and each of platinum group metals in gold alloys for manufacturing jewellery/artefacts and gold solders are 0.02% and 0.05%, respectively,” said the revised BIS guidelines dispatched to its jeweller members and associations on Thursday.