Hallmarking is the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in precious metal articles. Hallmarks are thus official marks used in many countries 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.
The BIS Hallmarking Scheme has been aligned with International criteria on hallmarking. As per this scheme, licence is granted to the jewellers by BIS under Hallmarking Scheme. 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 against IS 15820:2009.
Marking shall be as given:
RECOGNITION OF ASSAYING & HALLMARKING CENTRES
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 centre shall be required to submit an Agreement on Rs 100/- non-judicial stamp paper signed jointly with BIS prior to grant of recognition.The centre shall also be required to submit an affidavit-cum-undertaking duly notarized on Rs.100/- non-judicial stamp paper and an indemnity bond on Rs 20/- non-judicial stamp paper duly notarized.
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 counterchecking the purity of precious metal in the article sold with Hallmark.
Type of assistant by us
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.
Under the BIS Hallmarking Scheme for Gold and Silver, jewellers are required to take licence for sale of Hallmarked article from each outlet. A jeweller under same management having more than one sales outlet can obtain a corporate licence covering all of its sales outlets. Certain terms and conditions shall be applicable. There is also a provision for providing discount towards corporate licence fees.
Gold refinery :
Revised Policy for licensing of Gold Refineries
- Refineries already in the business of gold refining for the last one year and possessing accreditation from London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) or National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accreditation of their laboratories may apply for obtaining BIS license for marking the Standard Bars produced by them in accordance with IS 1417: 2009 (for 995 and 999 fineness only).
The refineries desirous of obtaining BIS Certification Marks licence, should apply in the prescribed form (CM/PF 301) to the Branch Office (BO) of BIS within whose jurisdiction the refinery is situated along with the visit charges. Refinery may apply after ensuring that:
- a) The refinery is in operation for at least one year as on the date of making application to BIS;
- b) The refinery is either LBMA accredited or the laboratory of the gold refinery has been accredited by NABL in accordance with IS/ISO/IEC 17025;
- c) The gold refinery is in possession of necessary infrastructure and testing facility as per IS 1418: 2009;
d) The process of refining employed is either electrolytic refining or refining by aqua regia process. The method of sampling employed is as specified in IS 1418:2009; and e) The refinery has declared the sizes of the gold bar that are intended to be covered in the scope of license.