Gold: Can old, un hallmarked gold still be sold? know details!


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The Government of India has recently introduced significant updates to the rules governing the sale of gold jewelry. From April 1, 2023, all gold jewelry and biscuits, etc. must carry a Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) number, which guarantees distinct identity and purity. In addition, these items should display the logo and purity mark of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). These new regulations aim to enhance transparency, credibility, and consumer confidence in gold jewelry and artifacts, catering to India's affinity for gold as a safe investment.

Buying new gold jewelry is now transparent and secure. However, if you have old, un hallmarked gold jewelry, you cannot sell or exchange it for a new design without hallmarking.

BIS says that consumers having un hallmarked gold jewelry must get it hallmarked before selling or exchanging it.

Consumers have two options: They can get their non-hallmarked jewelry marked by a BIS-registered jeweler, who will take it to a BIS Assaying and Hallmarking Center for processing, for a nominal fee of Rs 45 per item. Alternatively, consumers can get their jewelry tested at any BIS-accredited Assaying and Hallmarking Center by paying a nominal fee as prescribed. Both options ensure certification of the purity of the jewelry, and the test report serves as proof for any gold jeweler selling old un hallmarked gold jewelry.

It is important to note that gold ornaments already hallmarked with the old/earlier hallmark marks are still considered hallmarked and does not require re-hallmarking with a HUID number. Such hallmarked jewelry can be easily sold or exchanged for new designs.

The new gold hallmarking rules provide consumer protection if the jewelry does not match the description attached to the HUID. As per Rule 49 of the BIS Rules, 2018, consumers are entitled to claim compensation of twice the amount of difference in purity based on the weight of the article sold and the testing charges. Jewelers selling gold ornaments without HUID, except for the exempted categories under Section 29 of the BIS Act, 2016, are liable to a fine up to five times the price or imprisonment of up to one year, or both.

The phased implementation of mandatory gold hallmarking practice began across India on June 16, 2021. However, some retailers faced challenges due to the deadline of April 1, 2023, as they could not liquidate their old stock. To address this, the government extended the deadline for clearing old stock without HUID till June 30, 2023, especially for jewelers and retailers who had made a specific declaration.

Gold hallmarking rules differ around the world. Countries such as Dubai, the UK, Hungary, Sweden, Finland, and Russia require a hallmark, while Italy and Germany mandate registration of a maker's mark in the form of an independent watchdog. The US lacks a centralized gold hallmarking system, relying on independent testing agencies in states and cities. India's HUID system aims to comply with global standards in gold jewelry.