Mandatory gold hallmarking is poised to expand to 56 more districts across 17 states in India, according to a report by CNBC-TV18. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) have given their approval for the proposal, and an official notification is anticipated to be issued in the coming days, as cited by sources.
Presently, the sale of gold is permitted only in 288 districts if the precious metal bears a hallmark. The introduction of the 6-digit alphanumeric Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) system began on April 1 of this year. The hallmark serves as a crucial guarantee of purity and fineness for both gold and silver in the Indian market.
The HUID initiative aims to establish a robust system for authenticating gold artefacts. Pramod Kumar Tiwari, the Director General of the Bureau of Indian Standards, previously highlighted the necessity for mandatory hallmarking of gold bullion. An advisory group has been formed to address this, comprising gold importers, the Assaying and Hallmarking Centre (AHC) Association, and jewellers associations.
While ensuring purity is paramount for gold bullion, which serves as a primary raw material for jewellery manufacturing, the introduction of the hallmark has been hailed as a measure to safeguard the authenticity and quality of gold jewellery.
Under the guidelines issued by the consumer affairs ministry, after March 31, 2023, the sale of non-hallmarked gold jewellery or artefacts will be prohibited. The hallmarking process is intended to increase transparency in the gold market and enhance consumer confidence.
Before the implementation of the 6-digit HUID, hallmarking of gold jewellery consisted of four marks: the BIS logo, purity of the article, the logo of the jeweller, and the Assaying and Hallmarking Centre logo. The expansion of mandatory gold hallmarking to more districts underscores India’s commitment to ensuring the authenticity and quality of its gold market, ultimately benefiting consumers and the jewellery industry alike.