Home/ Markets / Commodities/  New rule on sale of gold items to kick in from 1 April

In India, purchasing gold is really more about adornment, coupled with investment. Most of the gold is bought in the form of jewellery or coins. But did you know that the rules on hallmarked gold jewellery will change from 1 April, 2023?

In a bid to safeguard the interest of consumers, the sale of hallmarked gold jewellery and gold artefacts with only a six-digit alphanumeric HUID (Hallmark Unique Identification) – union identification number – will be permitted from 1 April.

This means the sale of old hallmarked gold jewellery with four logos without HUID number will not be allowed after 31 March by the Bureau of India Standards (BIS).

HUID number is a six-digit alphanumeric code consisting of numbers and letters. Every item of jewellery will get a HUID at the moment of hallmarking, and each one is different.

"Gold is very popular with Indians for investment and is also highly significant culturally. Unfortunately, there is lot of fraud and mis-selling of gold jewellery. The six digit Hallmark Unique Identification number will help consumers trace the gold jewellery back to its jeweller. This will put Indian Jewellery sector ahead of the global norms," said Dr Mukesh Jindal, Co-Founder of Alpha Capital.

“The new gold jewellery hallmarking system is one more fantastic example of how the Indian government is using digital technology to empower the citizens and trying to provide them with more transparency and convenience," Jindal added.

India's gold demand

"India's gold demand, second only to China, remains robust, even during soaring inflation and all-time high gold prices. In fact, from the start of the festive season in Sept’22, gold has generated a return of over 23%. Therefore, it is essential to safeguard the interest of consumers and standardisation in gold hallmarking is a step in the right direction," said Rahul Agarwal, Director Wealth Discovery/EZ Wealth.

"It does away with the confusion that consumers face between 6-digit and 4-digit HUID and will instil confidence in gold buyers about the quality of gold jewellery and artefacts. Scrapping of the 4-digit HUID would not drastically affect retailers given the concessions announced by the government," Agarwal added.

Gold hallmarking

Gold hallmarking is a purity certification of the precious metal. It was voluntary in nature till 16 June, 2021.

It may be noted that prior to the implementation of the six-digit HUID number, hallmarking of gold jewellery consisted of four marks – BIS logo, purity of the article as well as the logo of the jeweller and Assaying and Hallmarking Centre.

The six-digit HUID number was introduced from 1 July, 2021.

After the introduction of HUID, the hallmark consisted of three marks – BIS logo, purity of the article and six-digit alphanumeric HUID. Each hallmarked article has a unique HUID number which is traceable.

Till now, the old hallmarked jewellery with four marks without HUID was also permitted to be sold by the jewellers along with the six-digit HUID mark. More than a year and nine months were given to jewellers to clear their stock of their four mark hallmarked articles.

"However, the simultaneous sale of two types of hallmarked jewellery by the jewellers was creating confusion in the mind of the common consumer," the consumer affairs ministry said in a statement.

The issue was discussed with stakeholders and the ministry decided to allow only the sale of hallmarked gold jewellery with six-digit HUID number only from 1 April onwards, it said.

The ministry also clarified that the hallmarked jewellery lying with consumers as per old schemes will remain valid.

As per section 49 of the Bureau of Indian Standards Rules, 2018, if hallmarked jewellery purchased by the consumer is found to be of lesser purity than that marked on the jewellery, then the buyer/customer will be entitled for compensation which will be two times the amount of difference calculated on the basis of shortage of purity for the weight of such article sold and the testing charges.

With agency inputs


Meghna Sen
Business journalist tracking markets, companies, economy and crypto for Livemint. She has 6 years of experience with online and print publications. Email: meghnasen08@gmail.com
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Updated: 30 Mar 2023, 07:23 PM IST
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