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Educate the consumer :However, increasing the number of centres may be only part of the solution. The lack of trained manpower to run the growing number of laboratorie could prove to be another stumbling block according to gemmologist Umesh Chavan of the Indian Institute of Gems and Jewelry (IIGJ).

Singh acknowledges that this is a major issue and adds that not only must the personnel be trained to a standard recognized by the BIS, there must also be a monitoring mechanism in place to provide continuous oversight of all the centres. Wholesale turquoise Jewellery

The BIS is helping by conducting training programs at various institutes include the IIGJ, which is run by the Gem and Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

While most jewellers agree about the benefits of hall-marking, many are reluctant to have it placed in the hands of a government regulatory body.

Most fear that bottlenecks and "costs" will increae if this happens and want an industry run body to be the nodal agency instead. Others think it is better to work at empowering the consumer with increased knowledge. "In fact, by approaching the issue through educating and making the consumer aware of hall marking the consumer aware of hall marking we would get the desired result. Once consumers being demanding it, jewellers will have no choice but to sell only hall marked jewellery" says Pahlajani. Singh agrees, saying "Consumer awareness is key! We need to spread knowledge about the scheme among consumers because even if we have all facilities in place and there is no demand the scheme will not succeed. So we need to communicate the advantages of purchasing hall marked jewellery to the consumer". Wholesale moonstone Jewellery

On the other hand, Devesh Shah the group merchandise manager at Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri says that hallmarking should be made compulsory as the customer stands to benefit. "But before that the government needs to get it act together" he says Shah feels that prior to making hallmarking mandatory certain irregularities within the exiting scheme need to firt be ironed out. "The process of hallmarking is tardy. It takes a couple of weeks from the time we send our items to be hallmarked to the time we receive them from the BIS testing centre. Such prblem need to first be dealt with", he says. "Presently there are three non-BIS hall-making centres in Zaveri Bazaar and we find it very easy to get all our jewellery hall marked. In fact al the jewellery we sell is hall marked", he remarks.

Also the higher costs incurred at the BIS centres compared to non - BIS hall marking centres could prove a major hindrance for the successful implementation of the scheme, says the IIGJ's Chavan. He notes that apart from educating the consumer one also needs to pay attention to the number of small traditional workshops operating in the rural areas that share a very limited knowledge - base. "They need to be properly instructed on the use of various modern soldering techniques," he adds, referring to the problem of heavy solders reducing the overall gold content of a piece of jewellery (especially the handcrafted kind) to the extent that the karatage of the gold used becomes also a secondary matter. He goes on to say, "The intricacies of designs that require the use of repeated solders -especially the handcrafted segment which comprises the majority of products that are sold in the country - need to be looked at.Wholesale Labradorite Jewellery The testing of the handcrafted jewellery involves taking micro sample from the article. Under no circumstances can the piece be destroyed or subjected to any treatment which will be detrimental to its finish. This means that samples from various areas will have to betaken and analyzed. This will be expensive and pose a variety of technical problems and the BIS committee is working towards standardizing the procedures".



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