If you are buying gold which is not hallmarked, the possibility of buying impure gold is high. Hallmark is a purity certificate of metal. Only 40% jewellery is hallmarked for now.
As per the government, Hallmarking is going to be mandatory from 15th January, 2021. They are going to issue notification on 15th January, 2020 in this regard.
Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) is authorised to carry out the hallmarking of gold jewellery. Any Jeweller will have to compulsorily apply for license before getting their jewellery hallmarked from them till 15th January, 2021.
This means, by January 2021, the registration process of jewellers will have to be completed and it will also give the jewellers a period of one -year to clear their existing stock.
They might give some offer like no making charges or some discount on making charges. If they don’t, Jewellers will be forced to melt down non-hallmarked jewellery to make it hallmarked. This will lead to heavy losses to Jewellers. Thus, As soon as the last date will approach, discount will be higher.
The BIS (Bureau of Indian standards) Act 2016 has enabling provisions under Section 14 & Section 16 for making hallmarking of gold jewellery and artifacts mandatory by the Central Government.
Currently, BIS certification centres are only present in bigger cities and towns. It is going to be challenging to effectively manage this in smaller towns, so that they can shift to hallmarked jewellery.
BIS has formulated standard in three grade = 14,18 and 22 carat. It means if you are buying 18 carat hallmarked gold, it will actually mean that 18 parts are gold and the rest is alloy.
This update might also change the gold market for the next one year. Customers who were earlier hesitated to invest in jewellery, will be encouraged due to compulsory hallmarking.
To identify hallmarked gold, one needs to look at least for these 4 hallmark signs or symbols:
1. BIS Mark
2. Purity in carat and Fineness (any one)
- 22K916 – Equal to 22 Carat
- 18K750 – Equal to 18 Carat
- 14K585 – Equal to 14 Carat
3. Identification Mark or Number of the Hallmarking Centre
4. Identification Mark or number of the Jeweller.