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916 has such a bearing for Indians in defining a value for purity. And now, with India’s toughened up rules on hallmarking , they are getting more of that. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: It’s said that for Indians only one number testifies to all things pure. That’s ‘916’, which as with many Indian preferences, stems from the passion for gold.

The 916 is the hallmarking sign that ensures the gold bought at a store conforms to a set of standards on purity. (The 916 refers to 22K gold, which is 91.6 grams of pure gold in 100 grams of alloy.)

While hallmarking became compulsory in India last year, the concept was started by BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards) in 2000.

Mandatory hallmarking was implemented in 288 districts of the country from June 23, 2021. More than 300,000 gold articles are being hallmarked with HUID (Hallmark Unique Identification) number every day. At present, 339 districts in Indian have at least one accredited hallmarking centre.

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Before implementation of the 6-digit HUID, hallmarking of gold jewellery featured 4 logos - the BIS logo, purity of the piece, as well as logo of the jeweller and of the hallmarking centre.

A 6-digit HUID was introduced from 01 July 2021 and all articles hallmarked post July 1, 2021 have to be hallmarked with HUID only. After this, the hallmark consisted of 3 marks - the BIS logo, purity of the article and a six-digit alphanumeric HUID. Each hallmarked article has a unique HUID number which is traceable.

A consumer can check and authenticate hallmarked gold jewellery with the HUID number using ‘Verify HUID’ in the BIS CARE app. It provides information on the jeweller who got the article hallmarked, their registration number, purity of the piece, the type of jewellery as well as details of hallmarking centre which tested. Using this info, the consumer can verify the product purchased by matching it with article type as well as it’s purity.

Until now , the old hallmarked jewelry with four marks (without HUID) was also sold by the jewellers along with those bearing the 6-digit HUID mark. Jewellers were given time to clear their stock of 4-digit hallmarked articles.

However, the simultaneous sale of two type of hallmarked jewelry by the jewels was creating confusion in the mind of the consumer.

Several rounds of consultations were held with all stakeholders, including jewellers; by BIS. It was then decided that after March, 31, 2023, no retailer could sell, or offer to sell, gold jewellery unless it is hallmarked with of 6-digit HUID number.

This was to safeguard and protect consumers and enhance their confidence in purchase of hallmarked gold jewellry with traceability and an assurance of quality.

Hallmarked jewellery with consumers as per old schemes shall remain valid. In case Hallmarked Jewellery bought by the consumer is found to be of lesser purity than that marked on jewellery, then he shall be entitled for compensation. which shall 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.