Gold hallmarking still at 50%; trade to add more centres

KOLKATA : Nearly 50 per cent of the gold sold in India continues to remain non-hallmarked. This was revealed by Harshad Ajmera, president of Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres, a day before Akshay Tritiya when Indians prefer to buy gold.

Ajmera, who was speaking at a press conference organised by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on Tuesday said: “India imports around 800 tonnes of gold and around 200 tonnes of gold are recycled. This means that around 1,000 tonnes of gold is consumed in India. In FY17, 475 tonnes of gold were hallmarked.

Though the final figures for FY18 are yet to come out, we expect an increase of 15 per cent-20 per cent over the previous fiscal.” Ajmera said that there are 578 hallmarking centres in the country. “Another 109 hallmarking centres are in pipeline,” he added.

The hallmarking charges are Rs 35 per article for gold and Rs 25 per article of silver. BIS grants licence to jewellers for selling hallmarked gold and silver jewellery and recognises assaying and hallmarking centres for checking the purity of gold. Even though there are more than 4 lakh jewellers in the country, only 21,641 jewellers are hallmarking licence holders.

Vishnu Gupta, deputy director general of BIS (eastern region) said that BIS hallmarked jewellery is available only in three purity grades – 22 carat, 18 carat and 14 carat.