How can Jewellers be at Loss With the New Hallmark Laws?

How can Jewellers be at Loss With the New Hallmark Laws? From now on, gold hallmarking is compulsory for all kinds of gold items, say jewellery or artefacts, from June 16 2021. The Government has announced that the implementation of the gold hallmarking rules will be carried out in a phased procedure, eventually beginning with shops in 256 districts all over India. All the jewellers whose annual turnover is more than Rs 40 lakhs will come under its preview.

Manufacturers, wholesalers, and traders of Gold Jewellery have been given time, and no penalty will be imposed until August 2021.

What is Hallmarking?

Gold hallmarking is a ‘purity’ certification process to identify the intricacy of the gold and assure customer protection. It is voluntary at present.

Hallmark usually consist of

  1. (Bureau of Indian Standard) BIS Mark
  2. Purity Of The Gold
  3. Assaying Center Identification Mark Number
  4. Jewellers Identification Mark

New Hallmarking Guidelines:

  • Now 18 carats and 22 carats gold items need to have a hallmark stamp. Further, additional 20 carats and 24 carats gold items need to have markings eventually.
  • But the process of hallmarking still is not yet implemented on all different types of jewellery such as Kundan, Polki, Jadau and Gold watches, fountain pens etc

For now, these have been exempted.

  • According to the Trade Policy of the Government of India, there will be no effect on the export and import of jewellery if the Government approves them for B2B domestic exhibitions. This means that no mandatory Hallmark will be needed.
  • The main idea behind the implementation of Hallmarking is to protect consumers and secure them from any fraudulent activity while buying gold ornaments, as announced by The Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS).
  • Owing to the pandemic, the process of Hallmarking gold jewellery was delayed. The decision was taken by the Union Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal. Before, it was expected to be enforced from January 15, 2021.
  • The process of Gold Hallmarking will create transparency for the Gold buyers. The process originally started in April 2000, but now only 40 per cent of gold jewellery is being hallmarked.

Most of the Jewellers in our country do not provide Hallmark Jewellery. According to the World Gold Council, out of 4 lakhs Jewellers, only 35879 Jewellers are BIS certified. As a result, as soon as the hallmarking was made mandatory, some of the jewellers got offended and were against it. The main reason behind it is that there are not enough hallmark centres that exist in our country. In India, we have only 940 Gold Hallmarking centres. Also, for the Hallmarking process, the jewellers have to pay a certain fee per item to the certified Hallmarking Center, so it increases the total cost for the jewellers. But due to the necessary hallmarking rule, the jewellers will have to take all the jewellery to a different city at times to ascertain the purity of the gold. As a result, the chances of getting exploited and ransacked are very high.

We talked to some Jewellers in Jaipur, and most of the prominent jewellers welcomed these new guidelines since they were already following most of them, but for small ones, it’s a sign of worry. One such small jeweller told us that these new guidelines would take away their advantage because of which they were able to offer better prices to their customers.

So, on one spectrum, there is the fear of the jewellers, and on the other spectrum, there is the uncertainty of the customers about the authenticity of the gold provided by the jewellers.