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

[pib] HUID System in Jewellery Industry


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Hallmark Gold

Mains level: Not Much

Hallmarking scheme is turning out to be a grand success with more than 1 crore pieces of Jewellery hallmarked in a quick time” with more than 90000 Jewelers registered in a same time period.

What is Hallmark Gold?

  1. The process of certifying the purity and fineness of gold is called hallmarking.
  2. Bureau of Indian Standards, the National Standards Body of India, is responsible for hallmarking gold as well as silver jewellery under the BIS Act.
  3. If you see the BIS hallmark on the gold jewellery/gold coin, it means it conforms to a set of standards laid by the BIS. Hallmarking gives consumers assurance regarding the purity of the gold they bought.
  4. That is, if you are buying hallmarked 18K gold jewellery, it will actually mean that 18/24 parts are gold and the rest is alloy.
  5. At present, only 30% of Indian Gold Jewellery is hallmarked.

Here are the four components one must look at the time of buying gold (they are mentioned in the laser engraving of a hallmark seal):

  1. BIS Hallmark: Indicates that its purity is verified in one of its licensed laboratories
  2. Purity in carat and fineness (corresponding to given caratage KT)
  • 22K916 (91.6% Purity)
  • 18K750 (75% Purity)
  • 14K585 (58.5% Purity)

What is HUID?

  • HUID is a unique code that will be given to every piece of jewellery at the time of hallmarking.
  • It will be helpful in identifying the jeweller or the Assaying and Hallmarking Centres (AHCs) which had hallmarked the jewellery.
  • It will be a six-digit alphanumeric code, with which every piece of jewellery will be tagged.
  • At the hallmarking centre, the jewellery is stamped with the unique number manually.

What are the new hallmarking rules?

  • The government has made it mandatory for jewellers to hallmark gold jewellery, but with some relaxation.
  • Jewellers with an annual turnover of up to Rs 40 lakh will be exempted from mandatory hallmarking.
  • Similarly, jewellery for international exhibitions and government-approved business-to-business domestic exhibitions will also be exempted.
  • It will also allow hallmarking of additional carats — 20, 23, and 24.

Issues with HUID

  • Jewellers say the HUID process has increased the time required to get the hallmarking on jewels and this has created huge backlogs at AHCs.
  • Since the process is being done manually, there are also chances of a mismatch of the code, he adds.
  • The inventory pile-up at the centres is also raising concerns about the security of the jewellery.
  • Several industry stakeholders point out the limited number of AHCs, which will not be enough to hallmark the large number of pieces that are sold in India every year.

Answer this PYQ from CSP 2017

Q.Consider the following statements:

  1. The Standard Mark of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is mandatory for automotive tyres and tubes.
  2. AGMARK is a quality Certification Mark issued by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2


Post your answers here.
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