HALLMARK UNIQUE IDENTIFICATION (HUID) NUMBER
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- From April 1, the sale of gold jewellery will not be allowed without a Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) number, the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said.
What is hallmarking of gold?
- The Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS), which operates gold and silver hallmarking scheme in India, defines hallmarking as the “accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in precious metal articles.”
- So, it is a “guarantee of purity or fineness” of precious metal articles.
Which metals are covered hallmarking in India?
- The government, through a notification issued on June 14, 2018, notified two categories—gold jewellery and gold artefacts; and silver jewellery and silver artefacts—under the purview of hallmarking.
- So, hallmarking in India is available for jewellery of only two metals—gold and silver.
- A certain category of jewellery and items will be exempted from the mandatory requirement of hallmarking.
- Export and re-import of jewellery as per Trade Policy of Government of India — Jewellery for international exhibitions, jewellery for government-approved B2B domestic exhibitions will be exempted from mandatory Hallmarking.
- Watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery such as Kundan, Polki and Jadau are exempted from hallmarking.
What is HUID number on gold jewellery?
- HUID number is a six-digit alphanumeric code. It is given to every piece of jewellery at the time of hallmarking, and is a unique identifier for each gold item.
- The jewellery is stamped with the unique number manually at the Assaying & Hallmarking centre.
- According to the department, the HUID makes it easy to trace the individual piece of jewellery, and is a guarantee of quality.
- In HUID-based Hallmarking, registration of jewellers is automatic with no human interference.
- It is aimed at ensuring the purity of Hallmarked jewellery and check any malpractice.
- HUID is a secure system and poses no risk to data privacy or security. HUID-based Hallmarking is a win-win for everyone.
- It brings about transparency, ensures consumers’ rights and obviates the chances of Inspector Raj.
What are the purity standards for gold and silver under the hallmarking scheme?
- As per BIS standards, there are three categories of hallmarking based on purity of gold—22 carat, 18 carat and 14 carat.
- Gold of Additional carats 20, 23 and 24 will also be allowed for Hallmarking.
- Jewellers can continue to buy back old gold jewellery without a hallmark from consumers.
No gold jewelry is made of 100 per cent gold, as the yellow metal in itself is very soft and has to be mixed with other metals to shape it into jewelry items. The “purer” the jewellery, i.e., the more gold a piece of jewellery has, the more expensive it will be.
The three categories of hallmarked jewellery, are: “22K916 means that it is a 22 carat gold and the piece of jewellery has 91.6 percent gold. 18K750 means that it is an 18 carat gold and the piece of jewellery has 75 percent gold. 14K585 means that it is a 14 carat gold and the piece of jewellery has 58.5 percent gold.”
What was the need of making hallmarking mandatory?
- India is the biggest consumer of gold. However, the level of hallmarked jewellery is very low in the country.
- Only 30% of Indian gold jewellery is hallmarked.
- One of the reasons responsible for low level of hallmarked jewellery is non-availability of sufficient assaying and hallmarking centres
BIS through its network of Regional/ Branch Offices all over the country operate the Hallmarking Scheme for gold and silver jewellery.
Pramod Tewari committee, was formed to ensure proper coordination and resolve the implementation issues.
The BIS has been running a hallmarking scheme for gold jewellery since April 2000.
Significance of Hallmarking
- The hallmarking of jewellery/artefacts is required to enhance the credibility of gold jewellery and customer satisfaction through third party assurance for the marked purity/fineness of gold.
- Hallmarking helps to develop India as a leading gold market center in the world.
- The mandatory hallmarking protects the public against lower caratage and ensure consumers do not get cheated while buying gold ornaments and get the purity as marked on the ornaments.
About Bureau of Indian Standards
- BIS is the National Standard Body of India established under the BIS Act 2016 for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- BIS has been providing traceable and tangible benefits to the national economy in a number of ways –
- providing safe reliable quality goods;
- minimizing health hazards to consumers;
- promoting exports and imports substitute;
- control over proliferation of varieties etc. through standardization, certification and testing.
How can you check the purity of old jewellery?
You may check the purity of gold jewellery at any BIS-recognized Assaying and Hallmarking Centre. For this you will have to pay a fee of Rs 200. However, a consumer cannot apply to the Assaying and Hallmarking Centre for getting a hallmark on her gold jewellery. This has to be done through a BIS-registered jeweler.
Q) Which of the following statements is/are correct?
a. HUID number is a three-digit alphanumeric code. It is given to every piece of jewellery at the time of hallmarking and is a unique identifier for each gold item.
b. Watches, fountain pens and special types of jewellery such as Kundan, Polki and Jadau are exempted from hallmarking.
I. Only a
II. Only b
III. Both a and b
IV. Neither a nor b
Answer: Option II