November 15, 2013

BIS hallmark : benefits & shortcomings

BIS hallmark, long slated as a saviour of customers when buying gold jewelry in India. Read the complete post to really grasp the point I am trying to put forward.
I think most of us know the benefits of the hallmark, from both the jeweler & the customer's point of view.
1. Assurance of gold purity.
Okay, so I cannot think of any other benefit, to be frank.

There are a lot of shortcomings that I can think of, though. 
1. Why does a jeweler need a license for getting a piece of jewelry hallmarked? The very point of hallmarking is that anyone should be able to go to the assaying centre & get a piece hallmarked. Not just a licensed jeweler.
2. The documentation required! There are so many documents required for the jeweler's license that it feels like one is applying for a personal arms license not a jeweler's license for getting a piece hallmarked.
3. The risk. This is one aspect that is most easily neglected by jewelers & consumers alike. To get a jewelry piece hallmarked, the Jewelry has to be left at the assaying centre for a few hours. Which is risky! Especially with high value items such as solitaire rings etc. 
4. The new proposed certificates are cumbersome! Recently bis proposed a certification for hallmarked pieces. This is absurd! It adds no value to the piece or the customer because it will say the same thing as the hallmark does but the certificates will occupy a lot of space & whenever a piece is sold a jeweler will have to through hundreds (or maybe thousands in case of even slightly large retailers) to find that one certificate! It is absolutely crazy! The hallmark is sufficient. The certificate is unnecessary.
5. The more things provided to a customer at the time of sale = the more things required at the time of return. Generally, everything, the certificate etc. given to a customer at the time of sale are required back at the time of return. Some corporate jewelers clearly state that a return will not be processed in case the original certificates & packing material are not returned. Which in simple terms means that if you lost that certificate you will lose the return policy! Which may sound absurd, but the Jeweler has spent time & money on getting those certificates made for customer satisfaction & it is a tedious process to get it done all over again.

So, actually hallmarking would be very simple if it was a more open & convenient process. Licensed hallmark centres where anyone can go & get a jewelry item hallmarked. 

Oh, & by the way, I have a jewelry store Suranas Jewelove (also, shop online at http://www.SuranasJewelove.com)

I think Hallmarking & assaying is a noble concept but the licensing etc. is just unnecessary.



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