Jewellers welcome hallmarking of gold

 To protect consumers from unscrupulous jewellers who sell impure gold, the government, on Wednesday, approved a proposal making hallmarking of gold mandatory, under the administrative authority of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

The hallmarking of gold, which is voluntary in nature at present, is a purity certification of the precious metal. 

Welcoming the move, Rajesh Exports Chairman Rajesh Mehta said that the move would benefit the public at large because jewellers will have to deliver guaranteed purity of jewellery to the consumers. According to him, sometimes, consumers are cheated to an extent of more than 25 per cent due to lower purity. Agreed C Krishniah Chetty & Sons Managing Director Vinod Hayagriv: “Hallmarking was kept in cold storage till The All India Gems and Jewellery Federation got the same activated through the DIPP two years ago. Hallmarking is noble in a country that has low standards of quality management.”

But he also pointed out that the government is short-staffed and is not equipped to handle large scale hallmarking implementation. Hayagriv feels that though the buyers may have to pay a little more, they will not mind it in favour of authentic quality.

The only challenge for hallmarking is the access to hallmarking centres for manufacturers and retailers. Presently, only large cities have hallmarking centres and if a Tier-II and III city jeweller has to hallmark his jewellery, he needs to travel quite a distance with the jewellery and this involves great risk. Therefore, increasing the number of hallmarking centres in large cities and ensuring that small cities also have hallmarking centres is necessary.

In this regard, Tanishq Vice-President (Retail and Marketing) Sandeep Kulhalli said, “Challenges are of course infrastructure to hallmark, capacity at manufacturing hubs, quality and efficacy of the assessing centres, lest they succumb to the trade pressure.” He felt that there will be impact on input cost, which needs to be understood before they consider the recovery or absorption of the same.

Abaran Jewelers CEO Pratap Kamath said: “Hallmarking is absolutely necessary for the Jewellery industry. This has brought about standardisation and has enhanced the trust in the minds of the consumers.

The Jewellers Association Bangalore President S Venkatesh Babu also hailed the move, saying that the government now needed to quickly build more hallmarking centres to keep pace with the demand.

Traders also hope that quality assurance would also lead to higher jewellery exports and called for similar measures on silver jewellery. Consumers can also expect better price while exchanging hallmark jewellery anywhere in the country, free of any kind of melting wastages.

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