The government has asked consumers to ensure that they buy hallmarked jewellery on the occasion of Diwali. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) of the Department of Consumer Affairs has issued a release which notes that it is important to have knowledge of how to ensure the purity of the gold being bought and getting the best value for money.
“Hallmarked jewellery can be sold only by BIS registered jewellers. The details of BIS registered jeweller in your district can be obtained from BIS site,” the release read.
Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the metal.
“In case the hallmark is not clearly visible by the naked eye, ask for a magnifying glass from the jeweller,” it added.
The advisory comes just ahead of Diwali, during which the sale of jewellery increases manifold.
With the introduction of a six-digit alphanumeric code with effect from July 1, 2021, the hallmarked gold jewellery artefacts consist of three marks. Before the new rule, the hallmarked gold Jewellery/artefacts consisted of four marks.
The hallmarking of jewellery was made mandatory in 256 districts of the country for 14, 18 and 22 karats of gold jewellery/artefacts from June 23, 2021. These 256 districts are the districts where there is at least one assaying and hallmarking centre.
According to consumer affairs ministry, hallmark shall be done at the first point of sale which may be manufacturer, whole-seller, distributor or retailer.
As per the new rules, if jewellery or an artifact made of 14, 18, or 22-carat gold is sold without the BIS hallmark, the jeweller could be penalised five times the cost of the object or imprisoned for up to one year.
The move is an initiative by the Centre to ensure that consumers don’t feel cheated and get pure ornaments.
According to government order, any manufacturer, importer, wholesaler, distributor or retailer engaged in selling precious metal articles has to mandatorily get registered with the BIS. The registration process will be one-time and there will be no fees will be charged from jewellers for it.