During the British Raj bullion of gold and silver were imported into India through ships. Mumbai, then called Bombay, was one of the major hubs for bullion trade in India. The market was full of traders and jewellers. The bullion era as I fondly call it, was the glittering era for the traders. Dated back in 1919, the seed was sowed for the formal association of the bullion traders. This was the inception of the famous Bombay Bullion Association, BBA. In 1920 the forwards market of bullion in Bombay (now Mumbai) was one of the largest in the world. Dated on 24 January, 1923, the BBE, Bombay Bullion Exchange ltd. was registered as an organisation which gradually grew to facilitate the traders with a safety vault. Change and growth both are a part of nature. So happened with the bullion organisation, it gradually grew into various departments from Melting and Refining to Assaying, from DharamKanta to Bullion ring and forward trading. Over the years it was registered in the consciousness of the traders of the market and became famous as The Bombay Bullion Association Ltd. growing to the pinnacles of being the apex body for bullion trade in India. The Bombay Bullion Association worked for pan India operations.
The Apex association of India the BBA still gives the opening and closing rates of bullion across India. Even RBI follows the rates given by the association. The scientific approach adopted by the association for assaying can only be challenged by the government body ‘the Mint’. This association has being the pride of the traders and members associated with it. Independent India Post-independence India was confronted with many challenges; the transition phase when Indian trade and the people began to assert their presence with all things “Indian” also gave rise to anarchy and confusion amidst the business communities, with the bullion industry being one of them. Comprehending the need to establish an unbiased and neutral organization which could use a multi-faceted approach in not only facilitate the working of an structured business sector but also address disputes and act as the conciliator between dealers, provide a neutral and correct platform for weighing precious metals acceptable to the trading community, interact with different governmental and executive agencies, provide reliable and correct reports of assaying of precious metals acceptable to the parties involved, the association was formed.
The Bombay bullion Association Ltd. established in September 1948, today is associated with more than 50,000 members actively involved and participating in its activities. After independence in 1947, the government of India gave its recognition to The Bombay Bullion Association Ltd and ask all the small bullion association existing in Bombay to merge with the association. Later in 1948, it was declared that, Bombay Bullion association Ltd was the guarantee and the association company and not the company with share capital. As envisaged since its establishment, the Bombay Bullion Association Ltd. has proved to be an unbiased platform that has received wide acceptance amongst the entire precious metal trading community.