How to Check Hallmark On Gold

Find out how to verify the purity of gold through its hallmarking. Uncover the importance of checking for hallmarks and the steps to ensure the authenticity of your gold

6 Mar,2024 11:00 IST 1581
How to Check Hallmark On Gold

There are very few Indians who do not value gold. Almost all over the world, gold is both a symbol of wealth and status. In India especially, it is not uncommon for those with the ability to save, to buy a little gold every year. For some this is done with the marriage of their children in mind; for some it is a fascination; for others it is done as a long-term investment. Gold thus bought and collected over time often serves as a collateral for gold loans during periods of financial crises.

But how does one ascertain the purity of gold purchased is a question uppermost in our minds as we purchase gold. Some of us will make our way to the family’s trusted jeweller. Others might prefer to go to a big glittering store or a store with a brand name considered reliable as a measure of precaution.

But there is a far more reliable way to check the purity of gold than the above. You can check the purity of gold through its hallmarking. It is now mandatory for registered dealers in gold in India to hallmark their gold products and jewellery with a 6-digit alphanumeric HUID (Hallmarking Unique Identification Number). Whether you buy gold jewellery, a coin or biscuit, it is best if you ensure that it is hallmarked as per the standards set out by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the National Standard Body set up by the Government of India, under the Department of Consumer Affairs. In fact, since April 01, 2023, jewellers can only sell gold which is hallmarked with a unique 6 digit HUID. Having a hallmark guarantees the purity of the product as specified.

For cеnturiеs, gold has been rеvеrеd in India as a symbol of wеalth and sеcurity. Alongside its allurе, gold's soft naturе makes it vulnerable to adulteration and other malpractices in the name of increasing durability. This puts thе buyеr at risk of bеing sold substandard jewellery piеcеs. Also, it is difficult to dеtеct such malpracticеs without tеchnical tеsts.

It was in the year 2000, that thе Burеau of Indian Standards was еntrustеd with thе responsibility of dеtеcting malpracticеs, еnhancing export competitiveness, and making India a global leader in thе gold jewellery markеt. For this, thе agеncy has a hallmarking initiativе to assurе thе quality of gold.

This blog delves into the crucial aspect of how to check Hallmark on gold.

What is the Hallmark of Gold?

As per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Hallmark is, ‘the accurate determination and official recording of the proportionate content of precious metal in the jewellery/artifacts or bullion/coins’. In India, Hallmarking started in April 2000.

Since June 23, 2021, the Government of India has made hallmarking mandatory in 256 districts of the country, having at least one assaying and hallmarking center. This hallmarking is mandatory for 14,18 and 22 carats of gold jewellery/artifacts. In September 2023, the government introduced the third phase of this mandatory hallmarking, by issuing the Hallmarking of Gold jewellery and Gold Artifacts (Third Amendment) Order 2023. As per this order, mandatory hallmarking will be done in 55 new districts, taking the total count to 343 districts in the country.

Hallmarking involves obtaining a registration from the Bureau of Indian Standards, the sole agency allowed to operate the Hallmarking Scheme in India. It also requires Assaying & Hallmarking (A&H) by BIS-recognised A&H or testing centers. After testing, a unique 6-digit alphanumeric code, called the Hallmarking Unique Identification number, is issued by the BIS.

Following the introduction of the six-digit alphanumeric code in July 2021, the three marks for gold jewellery/artifacts followed by the BIS are a BIS logo, purity/fineness symbol, and a six-digit alphanumeric code.

  • BIS logo - The BIS logo is symbolized by a triangle. It means that the purity of the jewellery has been verified in one of the licensed labs of BIS.
  • Purity/ Fineness - This mark stands for the purity of gold used in making the jewellery. As gold comes in varying grades of purity, it is important for a customer and is a healthy business practice to be fair and transparent. The purity mark enables customers to know that they are getting the jewellery of a specified purity level.
  • 6-digit alphanumeric code - This is the Hallmark Unique Identification number or HUID, is a mandatory mark on gold jewellery, particularly at the time of sale. The HUID number is given at a BIS-certified Assaying and Hallmark center. It offers a distinct identity to gold jewellery and also makes it traceable. It also offers transparency, ensures customers’ rights and credibility to the Hallmarking and is useful when addressing complaints of the hallmarked jewellery.

The standard hallmark engraved on the gold jewellery should have the following:

The BIS logo:

The logo is triangular in shape and is an assurance that the gold article has been produced in a facility with BIS certification. A BIS logo indicates that the gold meets the quality standards.
Get Gold Loan at the comfort of your home
Apply Now

Caratage or Gold Purity Indicator:

If you check the price of gold today, you will notice different rates are mentioned for 24K gold, 22K gold etc. This indicates the purity of gold. The purest form of gold is 24 carat or 24K – this is gold which is 99.99% pure. Most jewellery in India however is made of purity between 14K to 22K. Thus, the figures 22K916 stamped on the gold indicate that the article is made of 22K gold, or has a gold content of 91.6%. The figure 14K585 indicates that the article is made of 58.5% gold, while the remaining consists of other metals.

A Six-Digit Alphanumeric HUID:

This is a unique 6-digit alphanumeric code on each article of gold sold. Prior to April 01, 2023, there was only a four-digit code. The new regulations in place making a six-digit HUID mandatory, make it possible to trace the gold article to the original jeweller who has hallmarked it and the originally assaying centre. As a customer you can download and use the BIS Care App to help verify the HUID. The Verify HUID option allows you to enter the HUID number. If the number is genuine, it will be reflected by the App

We hope that this blog has made it easy for you to understand how to check hallmark signs on gold articles purchased and its importance. While it is extremely important to ensure that any gold you purchase is properly hallmarked as per current standards, this does not mean that gold previously purchased by you, which is not hallmarked, has lesser value. Since the new regulations regarding hallmarking with a six-digit HUID is relatively recent, it will still be possible to get a gold loan with jewellery which is not hallmarked. Most banks and NBFCs have systems in place to perform valuation checks through gold-assayers. The amount of gold loan you will be eligible to depends on the weight of gold pledged as well as its purity. Thus, knowing the purity of any gold purchased and how to check it is extremely important.

Types of Main Hallmarks

There are two main types of Hallmarks on gold jewellery as follows:

Stamps: The traditional type of hallmarking, stamps were put on gold jewellery as a way of Hallmarking. However, it wasn’t the ideal method, as it would cause the jewellery piece to deform if the jewellery was delicate or hollow. Also, if the piece of jewellery was old, it would wear down and the Hallmark stamp would show on the outside too.

Laser: A modern development over the traditional method of using stamps to hallmark, modern manufacturers now choose laser Hallmark for the purpose. It is superior over stamping, in that it does not disfigure the jewellery. The Hallmark is generally subtle and visible only using a jeweller’s loupe. However, an inherent drawback of this method is, when a piece of jewellery needs sizing. In the process of resizing, the Hallmark can be polished out and needs to be returned to the Assay office to restore the Hallmark.

How to Read Gold Hallmarkings?

Now that we know what hallmarking is and its different components, we should also know how to read the Hallmark on gold. This section is about knowing the purpose of the different components of the Hallmarkings.

  • The BIS logo: The first thing to check on a piece of jewellery is the BIS logo. The logo will be common on every jewellery, even if it is in pairs, and on coins. The logo is an assurance that the jewellery piece is certified by BIS, the only agency in India to operate the Hallmark scheme.
  • Purity of Gold: The second most important identification mark is the symbol denoting purity/fineness. As gold comes with varying purities, a jeweler needs to specify the purity level of gold used. The Indian Standard on Gold Hallmarkings IS 1417:2016 specifies three grades for hallmarking gold with purities of 14K, 18K, 20K, 22K, 23K, and 24K. Out of these, mandatory hallmarking orders are applicable on 14K, 18K, and 22K.

Gold with varying purities is to be interpreted as follows:

14K Gold - Gold with a 14K level of purity (14K585) has 58.5% pure gold and 42% of other metals. jewellery made from 14K gold is more durable and resilient as it has less pure gold and also costs less than pure gold jewellery.

18K Gold - A jewellery piece made from 18K gold (18K750) contains 75% gold, with an alloy making up the remaining 25%.

20K Gold - As the content of pure gold in a piece of jewellery increases, the symbolic number also increases. So, jewellery with 20K gold has 83.3% gold and 16.7% alloy. It was popularly used for vintage jewellery earlier.

22K Gold - Also given as 22K916, gold with a 916 code has 91.6% pure gold, with the balance as an alloy comprising other metals.

23K Gold - Gold with 23K purity, contains 95.8% pure gold.

24K Gold - 24K gold is the finest and purest form of gold and the item is made from 99.9% pure gold.

6-digit alphanumeric HUID: This is a unique alphanumeric code on every piece of jewellery. As a customer you will need this in the event of complaints as regards the Hallmarking.

Importance of Gold Hallmark

Gold is a precious and expensive metal. Also, gold comes in various purities. When one goes to buy jewellery, it is not possible to tell whether it is pure gold or mixed metals. Without knowing the purity, a buyer may end up paying more than its actual worth. Also, this purity has toe be backed by a quality controller or an official authority.

Hence, in the interest of the gold retailer and the buyer, it is important to check the hallmark of gold. Hallmarking offers the following benefits to buyers and retailers.

Importance of Gold Hallmark to a Consumer

  • The main purpose of hallmarking is to provide the customer with information on the authenticity and quality of the gold jewellery purchased.
  • Hallmarking prevents errant individuals from selling sub-standard jewellery.
  • It adds to the credibility and resale value of the item. It helps the buyer assess its market worth accurately.
  • Hallmarking enables the selling or recycling of hallmarked gold. With confidence in its purity, you can ask for a price at the prevailing gold rate.
  • It enables one to obtain a higher loan amount if one is applying for a gold loan.

Importance of Gold Hallmark to a Retailer/Business

  • For a gold retailer too, it ensures transparency and fairness in the gold market.
  • Hallmarking also acknowledges the craftsmanship in the creation of the jewellery. It enables authentic artistic pieces to get the recognition they deserve.
  • Hallmarking builds trust between buyers and sellers. Customers prefer purchasing jewellery from reputable sources who follow best industry practices and thus show a commitment to quality and transparency.
  • In some countries, hallmarking is a legal requirement for selling gold jewellery. Compliance with hallmarking regulations enables businesses to operate within the set guidelines, while also offering legal protection in the event of disputes and issues.
  • Being internationally recognized, hallmarking makes it easy for buyers to trade or travel with gold jewellery across borders.

Conclusion

For any asset you buy, it is very important that it is authentic. So also gold, which is not only a precious metal, but also a revered asset in the form of jewellery, coins, and other forms. A sales receipt generally confirms the sale only, and not its purity. Keeping in mind consumer interests, some initiatives help counter these problems. In the blog, we looked at the different aspects of how to check hallmark on gold to better equip ourselves when going to purchase gold.

FAQs

Q1. Is 22k gold the same as 916?

Ans. Yes, 22K gold is the same as 916. The figure 916 denotes the percentage of the purity of gold, which in this case is 91.6% pure gold and 8.4% other metals like copper and silver.

Q2. Is Hallmark 22 or 24 carat? 

Ans. Hallmark is a stamp or symbol that certifies the purity of the gold. The Bureau of Indian Standards affixes it and is generally done for gold articles with higher content of gold such as 24K, 22K, and 18K.

Q3. What is the 6-digit Hallmark on Gold?

Ans. The 6-digit Hallmark on Gold is the Hallmark Unique Identification (HUID) number, a unique number issued at the time of hallmarking at the Assaying & Hallmarking center, where it is hand- stamped.

Q4. How do I check my hallmark Jewellery online?

Ans. To check Hallmark jewellery online, download the BIS CARE app from Google or Apple Play Store. Log in using your name, phone number, and email address. Then, go to the ‘verify HUID’ section. Once here, type the HUID and search. You will get all the HUID details of the gold jewellery you want to purchase.

Get Gold Loan at the comfort of your home
Apply Now

Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only. IIFL Finance Limited (including its associates and affiliates) ("the Company") assumes no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the contents of this post and under no circumstances shall the Company be liable for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment etc. suffered by any reader. All information in this post is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results etc. obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. Given the changing nature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be delays, omissions or inaccuracies in the information contained in this post. The information on this post is provided with the understanding that the Company is not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, or other professional advice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal or other competent advisers. This post may contain views and opinions which are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency or organization. This post may also contain links to external websites that are not provided or maintained by or in any way affiliated with the Company and the Company does not guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any information on these external websites. Any/ all (Gold/ Personal/ Business) loan product specifications and information that maybe stated in this post are subject to change from time to time, readers are advised to reach out to the Company for current specifications of the said (Gold/ Personal/ Business) loan.

Most Read

Check the Difference Between 24k and 22k Gold
9 Jan,2024 09:26 IST
52270 Views
Like 6223 6223 Likes
Franking and Stamping: What’s the difference?
14 Aug,2017 03:45 IST
46619 Views
Like 7672 7672 Likes
Why Gold Is Cheaper In Kerala?
15 Feb,2024 09:35 IST
1859 Views
Like 4197 1802 Likes
Personal Loan With Low CIBIL Score
21 Jun,2022 09:38 IST
29008 Views
Like 6478 6478 Likes