How to check hallmarking details of your jewelery

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Starting 16 June, all jewelers must sell hallmarked jewellery. The government has taken the step to ensure there is no mis-selling. Many times, jewelers may sell jewelry stating that it’s 22-karat, but it could be of lower purity in reality.

But if a jeweler wants to, it can also fake hallmarking details. To ensure that the hallmarking on jewelry is genuine, there are a few things that you can look at.

Hallmark is a certification of purity. A jeweller can get the hallmark certificate from assaying and hallmarking centers (AHCs). The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) accredits these centres. The jeweller must also get a license from BIS to get its goods hallmarked.

A piece of hallmarked jewelry tells you the purity of gold – whether it’s 18-karat, 20-karat or 22-karat. When buying jewellery, you will notice three marks on hallmarked jewelry—purity, assaying or hallmarking centre’s identification mark, and the jeweller’s identification mark/number.

To ensure that the details are genuine, always buy from a jeweler registered with BIS. You can also ask the jeweler to show the BIS licence.

The next thing to do is check the bill. The regulations require the jeweler to mention the hallmarking charges separately. The AHC charges a fee of 35 per piece.

According to regulations, the bill or invoice must separately indicate the description of each article, net weight of the precious metal, purity in karat and fineness, and hallmarking charges.

If you are still unsure, you can get your jewelry tested from any of the BIS-recognized AHCs. The centers undertake the testing of jewelery of consumers on priority on a chargeable basis.

After testing, the AHC will issue a report. If the jewelry is of lesser purity than what is stated in the bill, the AHC, which did the initial certification, will have to refund the consumer’s fees.

You can also approach your jeweler with the report as it is also liable to compensate customers in such cases.

Hallmarking will help in curbing mis-selling. But ensure that you do your due diligence, too.

(Do you have personal finance queries? Send them to mintmoney@livemint.com and get them answered by industry experts)

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