Gold Hallmarking: To prevent fraud in gold jewelery and artistic items, the central government has made hallmarking mandatory from June 16. However, from September next month, jewelers may have to pay a fine for selling jewelery without hallmarking. Due to hallmarking, most jewelers believe that due to these rules in the festive season, it is not possible to supply according to the demand. Apart from this, the concern of small jewelers is that this will have a negative impact on them. After China, India consumes the largest amount of gold in the world. In India, apart from marriage, there is a tradition of buying gold in the festive season as well. However, this season, jewelers are now facing the fear of not being able to meet the demand as per the hallmarking rules. Gold hallmarking is a certificate of purity of gold and till now it was not mandatory.
Under section 29 of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016, the violation of hallmarking rules can be punished with imprisonment of either description for a year or a fine of not less than one lakh rupees. The amount of the fine should not be less than five times the value of the jewelery sold. However, this month there will be no penalty till the end of August. This time has been given for thorough preparation of hallmarking for gold jewelery manufacturers, distributors and dealers.
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Supply affected in Diwali-Dussehra if the situation does not improve in 15 days
From next month, jewelers may have to pay fine for selling jewelery without hallmarking and there is delay in hallmarking. In such a situation, during the peak festival season starting next month, the supply will not be able to meet the demand. According to Ashish Pethe, head of the All India Gem and Jewelery Domestic Council, the biggest challenge is the lack of hallmarking centres. There are not enough hallmarking centers in the country and it is taking a long time due to the high demand during the festive season. According to Pethe, many centers are asking to come later because they already have many pending orders. In such a situation, if the situation does not improve in the next fifteen days, then there will be a problem in the supply according to the demand during festivals.
Small shopkeepers face more problems
According to Ratan Chand Jwala Nath Jewelers based in Chandni Chowk, small shopkeepers will face the biggest problem with the new rules of hallmarking because at least 40 pieces have to be carried for hallmarking and it is not necessary for a small shopkeeper to have so many orders at once. Apart from this, if there are no hallmarking centers in smaller cities, then jewelers will have to move to other cities, which will affect their business. According to Ratan Chand Jwala Nath Jewellers, at present about 6 lakh pieces are pending for hallmarking, so it can be estimated that how many problems will be faced in meeting the festive demand. He also raised the issue of security and also raised questions on the online process. Due to the online process, where there is no better internet facility, the jewelers will face problems and it is unsafe for the jewelers to enter the complete details of all the jewelery they have online. According to Ratan Chand Jwala Nath Jewellers, instead of making these rules mandatory, the government should be given some relief in it.
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See this way hallmarking
Whenever you go to any jeweler, check whether it has BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) registration or not. The hallmarking number is different according to different carats. For example, the hallmarking number of 22 carat is 22k916. Make sure to get the bill from the jeweler. According to the BIS guidelines, if the jeweler does not fulfill the required conditions, then he will have to pay double the price of the amount equal to the lack of purity plus the testing charge. According to Ketan Kothari, director of gold management company Augmont, it is mandatory for jewelers to do hallmarking and carat stamping on every gold item. If it is not visible on the jewellery, ask the jewelers to make it clear by increasing the power of the magnifying lens by ten times. Hallmarking is being done on 14, 18, 20, 22, 23 and 24 carat.
Hallmarking is not necessary on these gold items
- Jewelers whose annual turnover is up to Rs 40 lakh are exempted from the mandatory hallmarking provision.
- According to the government’s trade policy, the provision related to hallmarking will not be applicable on export and re-import of jewelery for B2B domestic exhibitions and international exhibitions approved by the government.
- The provision of hallmarking will not be applicable for gold watches, fountain pens and gold items like Kundan, Polki and Jadau.
- Jewelers will be able to buy old gold jewelery without hallmarking and if possible, hallmark it after melting it to make a new one.