Hallmarking is the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in precious metal articles. Hallmark is the official mark used as a guarantee of purity or fineness of precious metal articles.
The principle objectives of the Hallmarking Scheme are to protect the public against adulteration and to obligate manufacturers to maintain legal standards of fineness.
In India, at present two precious metals namely gold and silver have been brought under the purview of Hallmarking.
As per the Hallmarking Scheme, licence is granted to the jewellers by Bureau of Indian Standards (Govt. of India). The BIS certified jewellers can get their jewellery hallmarked from any of the BIS recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centres.
The recognition of an Assaying and Hallmarking Centre is done with Indian Standard IS 15820:2009.
Here is the detailed description for set up Assaying and Hallmarking Centre, The basic requirements for Hallmarking Centre are as follows:-
A: Infrastructure: To set up assaying and hallmarking centre following infrastructure required :
a) Premises : shall be 550 Sq Ft to 650 Sq Ft , assaying lab shall be preferably 150 sq ft.
b) Electricity: shall have ample power supply for uninterrupted operation of Centre, moreover has to install generator of 15KVA power backup.
c) Centre shall be equipped with AC, safety requirement like CCTV and safe locker .
d) Centre shall have separate section for each operations like Reception, Quality Manager Office, XRF section, Laser Section, Sampling Section, Micro-balance and Assaying Lab.
e) Make vibration proof platform for Micro Balance.
The hard copy of complete application file along with the quality manual shall be submitted to BIS regional office . The BIS authority shall scrutinize the submitted application, and if everything is in order, BIS shall conduct preliminary inspection and assessment for two day of centre to verify necessary infrastructure and competence of employee as per relevant standard then recognition granted for period 3 year. The granted R No. may further renewed subsequently.
A jeweller desirous to sell Hallmarked gold jewellery/artefacts is required to obtain a licence from BIS for any particular premises of a sales outlet. The licence is granted to a jeweller for particular premises if the application in prescribed format along with necessary documents is found in order and payment of requisite fees and signing of an agreement for operating the licence by the jeweller jointly with BIS. In case the jeweller is also desirous to sell Hallmarked silver jewellery/artefacts another licence shall be obtained from BIS by submitting a separate application and agreement.
After grant of licence, the jeweller has to follow the terms and conditions mentioned in the agreement. Deviations in purity of precious metal (gold and/or silver) and observance of operations not in conformance to stated requirements may result in cancellation of the licence. Proceedings for penalties may also be initiated by BIS.
Indian Standard “IS 15820:2009 General Requirements for Establishment and Operation of Assaying and Hallmarking Centres” is the basis for recognition of Assaying and Hallmarking Centres. A centre desirous of obtaining recognition, after setting up of the Centre shall apply on the prescribed application form to BIS along with their Quality Manual, developed on the basis of Generic Quality Manual. A Pre-recognition Initial Assessment of the centre will be carried out by a team of two auditors of BIS for two days to check implementation of the documented system, availability of facilities for sampling, testing, assaying and Hallmarking as per the relevant Indian Standards, competency of available manpower including their training, availability of adequate safety and security arrangements and commitment to follow BIS guidelines issued from time to time. The list of equipment required, is available in the Generic Quality Manual. Based on satisfactory assessment, recognition is granted to the centre for a period of 3 years.
The recognition of a centre after 3 years is renewed based on satisfactory performance observed during surveillance assessments conducted periodically without advance intimation and renewal assessment. A recognized centre can Hallmark articles of only BIS licensed jewellers. The Hallmarking of articles can be done only after ensuring conformance of purity of precious metal (gold/silver) in the article received from a particular jeweller with respect to the declared fineness as per provisions of relevant IS. Samples are also collected periodically by BIS from stock of Hallmarked articles on sale by licensed jewellers. These samples are tested at BIS laboratory or a referral laboratory notified by BIS thereby counter-checking the purity of precious metal in the article sold with Hallmark.
Any jeweller who want to obtain Certificate of Registration for Selling Hallmarked Jewellery/artefacts shall apply with self-certified copies of documents.
With the online application or submission of hard copies to the BIS having jurisdiction of the area where the jeweller is located, with the application.
If the application is found to be complete with all required documents and fees enclosed within 5 working days then BIS will grant the registration to the applicant.
Required documents are listed below:
- Proof of establishment of the firm or company
- Proof of address of firm’s premises
- Proof of Identity of the signatory
- Map indicating location of premises from nearest land mark
- Quality manual of the Assaying & Hallmarking Centre prepared based on the Generic Quality Manual provided by BIS
- Affidavit cum undertaking as specified in regulations