HISTORY OF HALLMARKING IN INDIA

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. India is the second biggest market for gold and its jewellery. India imports in excess of 1,100 tons annually with negligible local production. The annual gold imports are around 50 billion US$ next only to crude oil imports. The BIS system of hallmarking of gold jewellery began in April 2000. The standard specifications governing this system are IS 1417 (Grades of Gold and Gold Alloys, Jewellery/Artefacts), IS 1418 (Assaying of Gold in Gold Bullion, Gold alloys and Gold Jewellery/Artefacts), IS 2790 (Guidelines for Manufacture of 23,22,21,20,19,19,17,16,14 and 9 carat Gold Alloys), IS 3095 (Gold solders for use in manufacture of jewellery).

BIS hallmark for gold jewellery consists of several components:

  • The BIS logo. And …
  • Purity of Gold either on of this 22K916 Corresponding to 22 Carat, 18K750 Corresponding to 18 Carat and 14K585 Corresponding to 14 Carat.
  • Logo of the assaying centre.
  • Logo/code of the jeweller.

Silver

BIS introduced hallmarking for silver jewellery in December 2005 under IS 2112, the standard specification for ‘Hallmarking of Silver Jewellery/Artefacts’.

Assaying & Hallmarking Centres

The testing of the jewellery as well as the marking is done in approved Assaying & Hallmarking Centres across the nation. These are private undertakings approved as well as monitored by the BIS. The mandatory status of hallmarking gold jewellery sold in India, although declared, is yet to be implemented. It will mandatory across the country from January 15, 2021. But it has a wide acceptance among consumers. This often leads to fake hallmarking of jewellery which is under the regular scrutiny of the bureau.