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Special Content

Issue no 52, 25 - 31 March 2023

HUID on Gold Jewellery Mandatory



The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has prohibited the sale of hallmarked gold jewelry or gold artefacts without 6 digit alphanumeric Hallmark Unique Identification Number (HUID) after March 31, 2023. The step has been taken to safeguard and protect the consumers and enhance their confidence in purchase of hallmarked gold jewelry with traceability and assurance of quality.

What is Hallmark?: Hallmark is a mark on gold jewellery which is affixed by an entity recognised by the BIS to assure its fineness and purity. Hallmarking is the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in precious metal articles. Hallmarks are used in many countries as official marks that guarantee the purity or fineness of precious metal articles. The principle objectives are to protect the public against adulteration and to obligate manufacturers to maintain legal standards of fineness. Hallmarking of gold jewellery provides third-party assurance to consumers on the purity of gold jewellery or its fineness. Since the purity of hallmarked gold is guaranteed, the consumer gets a proper rate when selling the piece of gold jewellery anywhere in the country. The banks may be willing to sanction loans on better terms if a hallmarked piece of gold jewellery is offered as a mortgage. In India, the hallmarking of jewellery was started by the BIS in the year 2000. On pilot kobasis, mandatory hallmarking was implemented in 256 districts with effect from June 23, 2021. The second phase of mandatory hallmarking was implemented in 288 districts from June 1, 2022 vide Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Gold Artefacts (Amendment) Order, 2022, dated April 4, 2022. At present, 339 districts have at least one Assaying and Hallmarking Centres (AHC) and more than 3 lakh gold articles are being hallmarked with HUID everyday. The BIS Hallmarking Scheme aligns with international criteria on hallmarking. Under the scheme, jewellers are granted a certificate of registration by the BIS to sell hallmarked jewellery. The BIS-certified jewellers can get their jewellery hallmarked from any of the BIS-recognised AHCs. In India, at present two precious metals namely gold and silver have been brought under the purview of hallmarking.

What does the new announcement mean?: Before the implementation of 6-digit HUID number, hallmarking of gold jewellery consisted of four logos - BIS logo, logo symbolising purity of the article as well as the logo of jeweller and the AHC. The 6-digit HUID was introduced from July 1, 2021 and all articles hallmarked post the said date are mandated to be hallmarked with HUID only. After the introduction of HUID, the hallmark consists of three marks - BIS logo, purity of the article, and six-digit alphanumeric HUID which is traceable. The jewellery is stamped with the HUID manually at the AHC. Till now, the old hallmarked jewellery with four marks without HUID was also permitted to be sold by the jewellers, along with the 6-digit HUID mark. However, the simultaneous sale of two types of hallmarked jewellery by the jewellers was confusing for the consumer. Subsequently, more than a year and nine months were given to jewellers to clear their stock of their 4-digit hallmarked articles. Hallmarked jewellery lying with consumers as per old schemes shall remain valid

Purpose of HUID: HUID enhances the confidence and trust of consumers in the authenticity of jewellery they purchase. HUID gives a distinct identity to each piece of jewellery enabling traceability. It is critical to the credibility of hallmarking and addressing complaints regarding purity of hallmarked jewellery. In HUID-based hallmarking, registration of jewellers is automatic with no human interference. It is aimed at ensuring the purity of hallmarked jewellery and checking any malpractice. HUID is a secure system and poses no risk to data privacy or security. A consumer can check and authenticate hallmarked gold jewellery items with a HUID number using 'verify HUID' in the BIS CARE app. It provides information of the jeweller who got the article hallmarked, their registration number, purity of the article, type of article as well as details of hallmarking centre which tested and hallmarked the article. Using this information, the consumer can verify the article being purchased by matching it with article type as well as its purity. HUID-based Hallmarking is a win-win for everyone. It brings about transparency and ensures consumers' rights.

Consumers can get nonhallmarked jewellery in their possession hallmarked: Anyone can get existing jewellery hallmarked and get a true valuation of gold. The consumer may get a hallmark on their old gold jewellery through a BIS-registered jeweller. A BISregistered jeweller can apply at a BIS-recognised AHC to get hallmark on old gold jewellery or the jeweler may melt the jewellery and make new jewellery and get it hallmarked before reselling it. A consumer, however, cannot apply directly to the BIS-recognised AHC for getting their jewellery hallmarked. As per Section 49 of BIS Rules, 2018, in case hallmarked jewellery bought by the consumer is found to be of lesser purity than that marked on jewellery, then the buyer/ customer shall be entitled for compensation which shall be two times the amount of difference calculated on the basis of shortage of purity for the weight of such article sold and the testing charges.

How to check the hallmark on gold jewellery?: As mentioned above, the BIS hallmark consists of three symbols - the BIS logo, symbol indicating purity and fineness, and a six-digit alphanumeric code. Before buying any piece of gold jewellery, the consumer must check for all these three symbols.

(i)                 BIS Mark: The first symbol, the BIS logo, resembles the shape of a little triangle. This logo symbolises the involvement of the BIS.

(ii)               Purity/Fineness Grade: The purity of the piece of gold jewellery is important because it is the basis of the price of that piece of gold jewellery. The second symbol lets you know the purity of gold jewellery. Since pure gold is very soft, other metals are mixed with it while making gold jewellery. Different amounts of metal are mixed in gold jewellery. At present, the mandatory hallmarking regime covers six caratages of gold jewellery/artefacts viz. 14, 18, 20, 22, 23, and 24 carats as mentioned in the Indian Standard IS 1417-Gold and Gold Alloys, Jewellery/Artefacts - fineness and marking - specification. For e.g., if the symbol says 22K916, it means that it is a 22 carat gold and the piece of jewellery has 91.6 per cent gold

(iii)             Six-digit Alphanumeric code: The third symbol is a six digit alphanumeric code/HUID. This code is unique for every article of jewellery. The consumer may also check the purity of gold jewellery at any BIS-recognised AHC.


Compiled by Annesha Banerjee and Anuja BHardwajan Source: PIB/BIS