Downbeat March as hallmarking figures drop 18.3%

Q1 stats show platinum on slight incline; other metals decline.

Hallmarking fell 18.3% in March according to the latest hallmarking figures, based on data from the four UK assay offices released by Birmingham Assay Office (BAO).

A total 600,361 items were hallmarked last month, however declines were registered across the board compared to March 2013’s figures.

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Gold hallmarking continues to slow, with 18ct hallmarking dropping 17.2% and 9ct falling 18.5%.

Despite the oncoming wedding season, platinum figures have also fallen, with platinum 950 hallmarking dipping 13.5% year-on-year, totalling 20,528 items. Platinum 850 has also declined.

Palladium also broke its positive trend, with the total number of assayed items dropping 37.3% in March, following February’s minimal increase of 3%.

Silver hallmarking also remains downbeat, with just shy of 300,000 articles hallmarked in March, a yearly fall of 18.2%. Sterling silver was down 17.8% while fine silver dropped 76.3%.

The Birmingham Assay Office also released the Q1 hallmarking figures, with the four assay offices reporting a total 10.9% drop in articles marked in the first three months of 2013.

The BAO said: "The categories of gold, silver and palladium saw similar levels of decline of 10.3%, 11.9% and 10.0% respectively whilst platinum fared slightly better with a 4.6% reduction in the number of articles hallmarked".
 

The facts and figures: UK hallmarking in March 2013 vs March 2012

Gold
24ct (999) – up 33.3% (60 items)
24ct (990) – level (0 items)
22ct (916) – down 17% (26,748 items)
18ct (750) – down 17.2% (56,369 items)
14ct (585) – down 0.9% (5,529 items)
9ct (375) – down 18.5% (182,127 items)
Total gold items – down 17.8% (270,833 items)

Silver
Fine silver (999) – down 76.3% (538 items)
Britannia silver (958) – down 56.7% (81 items)
Sterling silver (925) – down 17.8% (299,072 items)
800 parts silver – down 92.2% (18 items)
Total silver items – down 18.2% (299,709 items)

Platinum
999 parts – down 33.3% (6 items)
950 parts – down 13.5% (20,528 items)
900 parts – up 25% (5 items)
850 parts – down 66.7% (1 items)
Total platinum items – down 13.5% (20,540 items)

Palladium
999 parts – down 100% (0 items)
950 parts – down 34.3% (8,686 items)
500 parts – down 62.1% (596 items)
Total palladium items – down 37.3% (9,279 items)

Total items hallmarked – down 18.3% (600,361 items)

 

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