Now, a unique identity code for hallmarked jewels

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on February 19, 2014

BIS to introduce nine-digit alpha-numeric code on jewellery; move to protect consumers

If you are planning to buy hallmarked jewellery sometime later this year, chances are that the jewel may sport a nine-digit alpha numeric unique identity number (UIN).

The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) proposes to introduce UIN as a component of hallmark to ensure traceability of such certified articles in a bid to protect consumers from being cheated.

Sunil Soni, Director-General, BIS, said the UIN concept in jewellery is expected to be operational later this year. It will also help the standards body take action against the unscrupulous manufacturers misusing the ISI mark/hallmark.

Each high value jewellery piece of over 10 gram will come with a card carrying the UIN and the code can be read with a quick response (QR) reader or a mobile application that will be developed, Soni said. BIS will be working with an IT vendor to develop the software and implement the system.

The concept of hallmarking is voluntary and is catching up, mainly in Southern and, to some extent, Western India.

Questioning the rationale of the proposed BIS move, a leading jeweller in Delhi said hallmarked jewellery already carries the BIS logo, the lab code that has issued the hallmark, purity of the jewel, year of hall marking and jeweller details.

Soni clarified that going ahead, the hallmarked jewels may sport the BIS logo, purity and the nine-digit code, while the year of hallmarking may go.

“We are working on what else to be included. A final decision will be taken soon,” he added. Further, in a bid to ensure that more jewellers take up hallmarking, the BIS has decided to reduce the licensing charges – mainly for the smaller towns and cities.

Against the quarterly licensing charges of ₹20,000, jewellers in towns with less than a population of three lakh will now have to pay ₹2,500 for the BIS licence, Soni said. Similarly, jewellers in cities with population of between 3-10 lakh will now have to pay ₹5,000 as licensing charges.

“We have reduced the fee because jewellers from smaller towns were not coming forward to take licence for hallmarking," said KV Thomas, Minister for Consumer Affairs and Food. He said hallmarking was 100 per cent accepted in Kerala. The proposed move by BIS to provide unique identity number was one of the consumer and industry-friendly steps being taken by the standards body.

Published on February 19, 2014
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