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India to launch Silver assaying standard
Gujarat Gold Centre permitted to conduct silver hallmarking
By: The Indian Express
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Jan 24 2007 12:00AM
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Reference: 688  

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India’s standards-setting body, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), is planning to establish a scheme for the assaying of silver jewellery and artefacts. During a recent meeting held in Surat in the state of Gujarat, experts from the BIS’s metallurgical division and the Indian Diamond Institute (IDI) authorised the Gujarat Gold Centre, an assaying and hallmarking centre for gold jewellery, to conduct silver hallmarking in the state.

“There are two other centres from Mumbai and Delhi, but currently the silver committee of the metallurgical division is gauging the market specifics of hallmarking standards,” said Sneh Batla, the additional general and head of BIS’s hallmarking division. “Market impact and impact on prices owing to hallmarking is also under evaluation,” she added.

“Indians have a tendency to use more silver compared to the rest of the world. We have found that impure silver in large quantities is being circulated in the market,” said I.J. Ray of the Indian government’s mint department.

“Hallmarking will ensure that at least silver used in jewellery is non-toxic in nature and conforms to health standards,” he remarked.

The BIS’s headquarters in New Delhi has received close to 4,000 applications for establishing private hallmarking centres for silver. “We hope to be a hallmark centre for silver this year itself,’’ said IDI executive director K.K. Sharma, anticipating strong demand in the near future.

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