Agmark, Hallmark, ISI, BIS, BEE and Other Ratings

How is Gold Hallmarking being implemented?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Hallmark Gold

Mains level : Not Much

The Government has made it mandatory for the introduction of a Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) number in every piece of jewellery.

What is HUID?

  • HUID is a six-digit alphanumeric code, or one that consists of numbers and letters. It is given to every piece of jewellery at the time of hallmarking and is unique for each piece.
  • It is being implemented by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in a phased manner.
  • Hallmarking & HUID are mandatory for 14-, 18- and 22-carat gold jewellery and artefacts.
  • Before buying any piece of gold jewellery, the buyer should check all these three symbols.

Implementation of HUID

  • Symbols: The hallmark consists of three symbols which give some information about the jewellery piece. The first symbol is the BIS logo; the second indicates purity and fineness; and the third symbol is the HUID.
  • A&H centre: Jewellery is stamped with the unique number manually at the Assaying & Hallmarking centre.

Why is it being introduced?

  • Authentication: HUID gives a distinct identity to each piece of jewellery enabling traceability.
  • Credibility: It is critical to the credibility of hallmarking and to help address complaints against adulteration.
  • Registration: In HUID-based hallmarking, registration of jewellers is an automatic process with no human interference.
  • Prevents malpractice: It also helps check malpractice by members of the trade.
  • Data privacy: It is a secure system and poses no risk to data privacy and security.
  • Financial tracking: HUID provides traceability and financial tracking of purchases.

Issues with HUID

  • Time-consuming: It is cumbersome to number each piece of jewellery
  • Intricate jewellery: HUID cannot be engraved in tiny pieces.
  • Unnecessary expense: Also it will increase cost for consumers.
  • Infrastructural issues: there needs to be ample AH Centres.

What does this mean for the consumer?

  • Consumer protection: Given that gold plays a big role in the lives of Indians, mandating gold hallmarking is aimed at protecting consumer interests.
  • Assurance of quality: It provides ‘third-party assurance’ to consumers on the purity of gold jewellery.

Conclusion

  • HUID concept is innovative, out-of-the-box thinking and more than makes up for stepping in late with mandatory hallmarking.
  • It is the sort of global leadership India has and needs to show in gold-related reforms.

 

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