'Jewellers can sell only hallmarked gold from Jan 2021'

Jewellers can sell only 14, 18, 22-carat hallmarked gold jewellery from Jan 2021: Paswan

Jewellers have been given one year time to register with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and implement the mandatory hallmarking of gold jewellery to ensure the purity of the precious metal, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters. Credit: PTI

Worried about the purity of the exquisite gold necklace you had set your eyes on? Be rest assured as it would be mandatory for all jewellers to adhere to the norms set by the Bureau of India Standards (BIS) from next January.

Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said on Tuesday that the government would issue a notification on January 16 making hallmarking of gold jewellery and artefact mandatory for sellers and any failure on this count would attract penalty or even a one-year jail term for the jeweller.

All jewellers across the country will have to register with the BIS within one year and start selling hallmarked goods from next January. Till now, 28,849 of the estimated three-four lakh jewellers across the country are registered with the BIS.

Also, instead of the 10 grades earlier, gold would now be available only in three varieties – 22 karat, 18 karat and 14 carat – which would be marked on the jewellery or the artefact.

Consumers will have to lookout for four marks on the hallmarked gold jewellery – the BIS Mark, purity in karat and logos of the assaying and hallmarking centre and the jeweller.

If doubts still persist, the consumer can take the jewellery to any assaying and hallmarking centre to check for purity for a nominal fee of Rs 150 per piece.

If the product fails the purity, both the jeweller and the assaying and hallmarking centre that had originally certified the jewellery or artefact would be liable for action ranging from a fine of a minimum of Rs one lakh to five times the cost of the product or also a jail term for one year.

As many as 892 such centres exist at 234 district locations and the BIS hopes to have one such centre in each of the 732 districts across the country within the next one year.

The BIS has been running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000, but on a voluntary basis. An estimated 40% of gold jewellery is being hallmarked currently.

Paswan said that mandatory hallmarking will ensure consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments and get the purity as marked on the ornaments.

India is the largest importer of gold, which mainly caters to the demand of jewellery industry. In volume terms, the country imports 700-800 tonne of gold annually.

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