BIS for mandatory hallmarking of gold bullion from July 1
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has proposed making hallmarking of gold bullion mandatory for approved refiners from July 1, as part of efforts to ensure that consumers don’t face quality issues.
It has also said that all other refiners (those not registered with BIS) manufacturing bullion should compulsorily hallmark their products from January 1, 2024.
India has 44 BIS-approved bullion refineries. They refine “dore” (impure) gold and scrap gold and produce bullion, which is used to manufacture gold jewellery, bars and coins.
The BIS letter says, “Gold bullion is used as raw material for manufacturing jewellery and its purity is paramount for ensuring the desired fineness (995/999) of hallmarked gold jewellery. Hallmarked gold bullion will help in ensuring the desired purity of gold jewellery being manufactured. As such a need has been felt to bring it under mandatory certification.”
Fineness is an indicator of the quantity of pure gold in the gold alloy in parts per thousand. A fineness of 995 indicates 995 parts of gold and five parts of another metal. The highest quality is 999.99.
An advisory committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Pramod Kumar Tiwari, Director general of BIS, to work out the modalities of implementation of hallmarking at the refinery level.
A senior gold industry executive said the BIS’ move to introduce hallmarking at the refinery level is a step towards making gold an asset class in the country.
Consumers, who buy gold bars and coins will benefit from the move. Of India’s total annual gold consumption of 850 tonnes, nearly 20% is in the form of bars and coins. In 2022, the demand for gold coins and bars was 173 tonnes