What is the BIS Hallmark for Jewellery in India?
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Introduction about BIS Hallmark
A Hallmark is an official mark or sequence of marks stamped on metal products, usually to confirm the number of noble metals like platinum, gold, silver and palladium in some countries. The term hallmark can also be used to refer to any distinguishing feature in a broader meaning. Basically, BIS Hallmark is the hallmarking system for gold as well as silver Jewellery sold in India certifying the purity of the metal. It is confirming that the piece of Jewellery conforms to a set of standards laid by the Bureau of Indian Standards, the national standards organization of India. India is the second biggest market for gold and it’s Jewellery.
In other words, the process of certifying the purity of gold is called hallmarking.
According to the BIS there are two principle objectives of the hallmarking scheme:
- To protect the public against adulteration
- To obligate manufacturers to maintain legal standards of fineness/purity.
There are four components that one should look for on the hallmarked gold Jewellery to ensure the purity of gold:
- BIS Mark
- Purity in Karat and fineness
- Assaying and Hallmarking Centre’s identification mark/number.
- Jeweller’s Identification mark/number
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the designated authority to implement hallmarking of gold jewellery and this move is expected to bring transparency in the jewellery trade and increase trust among consumers. The government has made hallmarking of gold jewellery mandatory in India from June 16, 2021. The BIS Hallmarking scheme has been aligned with the International criteria on hallmarking. As this scheme, Registration is granted to the jewellery by BIS under Hallmarking scheme. BIS certified jewellers can get their jewellery hallmarked from any of the BIS recognised Assaying and Hallmarking Centres. The recognition of an Assaying and Hallmarking Centre is done against IS 15820:2009.
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Below is the detailed description about the components:
- BIS Mark:
Gold jewellery hallmarked by BIS will have the BIS logo indicating that its purity is verified in one of its licensed laboratories. According to the BIS, it is the only agency approved by the government for hallmarking gold articles of any kind to ensure its purity.
- Purity in Karat and fineness
Purity of gold is indicated in two ways: Karat (denoted as KT) and fineness number. When purity of gold is measured in Karat, 24KT is considered too soft to be converted into any jewellery or ornament. Other metals such as silver and zinc are added to gold to convert it into jewellery.
Fineness number is another way of measuring the purity of gold. It is measured in purity in parts per thousand. According to BIS, Hallmarking of gold is done only for three levels of purity, i.e. Karat. These are as follows:
Corresponding to 22 Karat
Corresponding to 18 Karat
Corresponding to 14 Karat
The fineness number and BIS hallmark on the piece of jewellery indicate that BIS has certified it to be of the fineness level/purity that is embossed on it as part of the hallmark.
- Assaying and Hallmarking centre’s mark/number
The laboratory where your gold jewellery is assessed to check its purity is also required to put their logo on the jewellery. Only licensed laboratories of BIS can check the purity of gold. One can check if the hallmarking centre is licensed by BIS or not on their website.
Jeweller’s identification mark
The jewellery shop from where you are buying your gold jewellery will also put its identification mark. This mark can be of BIS Certified jeweller of jewellery manufacturer.
Types of BIS Hallmark Certificate
- BIS Registration for Hallmarking Showroom/Jewellers
- BIS Recognition of Assaying & Hallmarking Centre
BIS Registration for Hallmarking Showroom/Jewellers:
A jeweller who wishes to sell Hallmarked gold jewellery or artefacts must first get registration from BIS for each of their sales outlets. The registration granted to the jeweller for the specified location if the application in the prescribed format along with relevant paperwork documents is deemed to be in order, are the required cost is paid and as well as the signing of the agreement for the operation of license by the jeweller.
Procedure for BIS Registration for Hallmarking Showroom
- Step1: Documentation prior to submission of application
- Step2: Online portal generation on BIS website
- Step3: Submission of application online through BIS portal
- Step4: Scrutiny of application file by BIS officials
- Step5: Grant of BIS Certificate
Documents requirement for BIS Registration for Hallmarking Showroom
- GST Certificate
- Turnover Proof
- Premises document (Sell Deed/Rent Agreement)
- Showroom establishment certificate
- Logo of the showroom
- Owners Identity proof (Aadhar Card)
- Letterhead (for registered email id & contact no.)
- Location of showroom on Map
- 2-3 photos of showroom (inside & outside)
BIS Registration for Assaying & Hallmarking Centre:
If a store owner wants to sell ready-made jewellery, the purity and quality of the gold should be checked at a hallmark centre. This is the marking centre’s or third-party evaluator’s BIS Hallmark licensed trademark. Every product in the centre has a label that is stamped and examined for purity. This is done so that if any contradictions develop later, the object may be tracked back to the centre. Jewellery/artefacts are hallmarked in BIS-certified facilities/centres that serve as testing laboratories. These hallmarking facilities, centres and labs are positioned within city limits or in busy commercial or business buildings close to the jewellery-hubs and markets for manufacturing. The term “assaying” refers to the quantitative chemical analysis of precious metals. Assaying refers to the process of determining the amount of gold in a piece of jewellery or a product. The following are the steps involved:
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- Reception section: The first step starts from reception. Here jewellery are received from different parties and here jewellers are sorted as per the purity claimed by the party, and after acceptance, jewellery is sent for assaying.
- X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) section: after receiving the jewellery sample, the fineness (purity as declared by the customer) of the samples are verified by the XRF machine by comparing with the reference material.
- Melting section: The accepted samples are drilled in the defined quantity as per BIS guidelines and these drilled/cut piece of sample is then homogenised in melting furnace in graphite crucibles.
- Sample preparation: The sample is weighed i.e. silver and copper is mixed with the homogenised sample and put lead foil, which is then assayed. Out of several techniques available for assaying precious metals, fire assaying is one of the oldest and most reliable methods for the quantitative analysis of gold and silver.
- Assaying Section (Fire Assay Test): As per the standard IS 15820:2009, Assay and Hallmarking of gold are done by the fire assay test as per the method IS 1418:2009 (Assaying of gold in gold Bullion, Gold alloys and gold jewellery/Artefacts). In this test, magnesia or calcium phosphate couples, parting acids (Nitric acids of specific gravity 1.2 & 1.3 g/cm 3), lead foil, precious metals (silver) and other metals like copper are used. The fire assay method is based on the principle of removal of all the base metals like copper, lead etc., present in the sample from noble metals like gold and silver through the process of cupellation and parting.
- Cupellation: In this process, samples are kept in couples for cupellation inside the muffle furnace for 25 min at 1100 co. During this process, lead is oxidized into lead oxide & emitted in the form of fumes, whereas other impurities along with lead are absorbed in couples. Once Cupellation is completed, gold & silver alloy in the form of a bead is obtained. Separating silver from gold by selectively dissolving silver-gold alloy in Nitric acid is known as parting.
- Parting: One cupellation is completed, a gold and silver alloy in the form of bead is obtained. Separating silver from gold by selectively dissolving silver-gold alloy in nitric acid is known as parting.
Procedure for BIS Recognition of Assaying and BIS Hallmarking Centre
- Documentation prior to submission of application
- Online portal generation on BIS website
- Infrastructure Development
- CRM Sample testing in BIS Laboratory
- Calibration of equipment with NABL Lab
- Test In-house sample and participate for ILC with other Hallmarking Centre
- Development of files & formats
- Staff Training &laboratory installation
- Submission of application along with test report (Online)
- Submission of hard copy of complete application to BIS office
- Scrutiny of application file by the BIS officials – Pre audit
- On-site inspection by BIS officials
- Scrutiny of application file by BIS officials – Post audit
- Grant of BIS License
- Premises documents registry or rent dead
- Director/Partner ID Proof
- GST Copy
- Electricity Bill
- MSME Copy
- MOA/Partnership deed
- Logo of Hallmarking Centre
- NOC from Pollution department
- Details of 8 employees with Qualification certificate and I’d Proof
It is a certification of purity of gold articles in accordance with Indian Standard specifications. It has been acting as a safeguard to purchasers of gold and gold articles for centuries in various countries.
Team Corpseed will help your organization to draft and file application to BIS for grant of registration/certification. BIS has been providing safe reliable quality goods, minimizing health hazards to consumers.
Bureau of Indian Standards is involved in different activities like standards formulation, certification of products, system certifications, hallmarking, laboratory services, registration scheme and more