Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Artifacts in India

Context: Quality Control Order for Mandatory Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery and Gold Artefacts Order, 2020 dated 15-1-2020 has been notified in the Gazette of India making hallmarking of Gold jewellery and artifacts mandatory in the country w.e.f. 15-1-2021.


The BIS system of hallmarking of gold jewellery began in April 2000. The standard specifications governing this system are:

  • IS 1417 (Grades of Gold and Gold Alloys, Jewellery/Artefacts),
  • IS 1418 (Assaying of Gold in Gold Bullion, Gold alloys and Gold Jewellery/Artefacts), 
  • IS 2790 (Guidelines for Manufacture of 23,22,21,20,19,18,17,16,14 and 9 carat Gold Alloys), 
  • IS 3095 (Gold solders for use in manufacture of jewellery)

Key Details

  • Only three grades namely 14,18 and 22 carats for gold jewellery and artefacts, as prescribed in Indian Standard IS: 1417: 2016 can be hallmarked. 
  • As on 25 Dec 2019892 Hallmarking and Assaying (A & H) centres (These are private undertakings approved as well as monitored by the BIS) throughout India have been recognized by BIS.   
  • The average number of articles hallmarked per day per centre in the year is nearly 225 only. 
  • A typical centre can hallmark 500 pieces per shift (or about 1500 pieces per day) with one set of machines. Thus, the average utilization of the capacity of the A&H centres is less than 50 % and therefore, the average utilization of the capacity of the A&H centres is less than 50% and as on date there is no capacity constraint. 
  • Consumers have to watch out for four marks on hallmarked gold jewellery: (1) BIS mark, (2) purity in carat, (3) assay centre’s name and (4) jewellers’ identification mark.

Gold hallmarking, which certifies the purity of gold, has so far been operating on a voluntary basis in recent years. It has being encouraged by the government because of widespread complaints about impurity of gold sold in the market.

The BIS is already running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000 and around 40% of gold jewellery is being hallmarked currently.

Bureau of Indian Standards organizes regular Awareness Programmes through its various Regional Offices/Branch Offices many of these are conducted in association with Consumer Organizations

These programmes focus on enhancing quality consciousness of consumers by highlighting issues of Standardization, promotion of BIS Standard Mark, Hallmarking of Gold & Silver and educating them on the misuse of BIS Standard mark & Complaint Redressal System for products with BIS Standard Mark.                  

About Bureau of Indian Standard The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the national Standards Body of India which is working under the aegis of Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Government of India.  It is established by the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 which came into effect on 23 December 1986.  The ex-officio President of the BIS is the Minister in charge of the Ministry or Department having administrative control of the BIS. Being a corporate body, it has 25 members drawn from Central or State Governments, industry, scientific and research institutions, and consumer organisations.  Headquarters:  New Delhi Regional offices: Kolkata (Eastern Region), Chennai (Southern Region), Mumbai (Western Region)Chandigarh (Northern Region) and Delhi (Central Region) and 20 branch offices. It also works as WTO-TBT enquiry point for India. BACKGROUND The organisation was formerly the Indian Standards Institution (ISI), set up under the Resolution of the Department of Industries and Supplies No. 1 dated 3 September 1946. The ISI was registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. A new Bureau of Indian standards (BIS) Act 2016 which was notified on 22 March 2016, has been brought into force with effect from 12 October 2017. The Act establishes the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) as the National Standards Body of India.

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