Gold has always been a very important part of our culture and it is intertwined with the way of living in India. The lure for this metal is ancient and deep rooted in Indian culture and traditions. It is a part of social security for most Indians and culturally close to their heart and is considered as a status of wealth. This close relationship that Indians have with gold may be viewed not just from the perspective of tradition but in economic terms as well. In India, no major tradition, festival, wedding and other family occasion is complete without buying gold. India’s jewellery sector is one of the largest in the world, contributing 29% to the global jewellery consumption. It is estimated that there are more than 6,50,000 jewellery stores in India, and its market size is expected to grow by US$ 103.06 billion during 2019-2023. This sector is fundamentally entwined with public sentiment and Indian culture.

Considering the auspicious and important use of gold, the confirmation over the purity of the gold has gained in importance. Accordingly, a confirmation of purity has been viewed as a business requirement. This has also resulted in the process of hallmarking becoming vital for the jewellery industry. While hallmarking has revolutionized the jewellery business in the metros, the rural markets have not entirely benefitted from this change. As of 2021 as per the data available with BIS there exists just 1220 Assaying and Hallmarking Centres in India, this is just not enough to service the existing demand of the jewellers. Moreover, ALL of the 1220 Assaying and Hallmarking Centres are concentrated in just 234 districts in India. There are 740 districts in India, which means that 506 districts DO NOT HAVE A SINGLE ASSAYING & HALLMARKING CENTRE. There exists a massive gap between the SUPPLY & DEMAND which is a what KHARAA SONA intends to fulfil by opening about 400 ~ 2000 Assaying & Hallmarking Centres. Given that the jewellery stores are in all parts of the country and that it plays an essential role in the lives of millions of Indians, the order passed by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (“Ministry”) to make gold hallmarking a mandatory requirement is essentially to protect consumer interest.[1] The practice of hallmarking is a modality to fortify the institution of trust and therefore an extremely important process. The availability of hallmarked goods has left the customers demanding for jewellery with the adequate certification of purity. Also, for the jewellers, it has become a matter of reputation and pride to be able to offer duly certified jewellery. In order to receive the continued trust and the goodwill of its customers, it is essential that every jeweller to be able to follow the hallmarking requirements. The adherence to the hallmarking requirements is not only a matter of compliance but has also become a necessity of trade.

[1] Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Gold Artefacts Order issued by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution on January 15, 2020