Continued high prices hit 9ct gold hallmarking the hardest.
Hallmarking of gold by the four UK Assay Offices was down 11.8 percent to 404,091 items, with 9ct gold hit the hardest at 16.4 percent.
The year-on-year drop in May of gold items hallmarked was attributed to a continuing rise in gold price.
Birmingham Assay Office chief executive and assay master Michael Allchin said: “This is a continuation of the trend we have been seeing now for several years with gold continuing to struggle, particularly 9 carat gold. We are not seeing any growth, just continued month on month decline. I don’t think this is going to change soon, as long as prices remain so high.”
Hallmarking overall rose for the month by 1.4 percent, with white metals continuing their upwards trend. Silver showed a 9.4 percent growth in items hallmarked to 657,040, but platinum showed the biggest rise at 12 percent to 22,848.
Introduced as a precious metal this year, palladium proved popular with 10,000 items hallmarked in May, though it was down on the 11,000 April figure.
“Ten thousand units in a month is very encouraging for a brand new metal though,” said Allchin.