Hallmarking enjoys stronger month in April

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Total declines less severe as gold, platinum and palladium all rise.

Hallmarking enjoyed one of its most positive months in recent times with the total number of gold, platinum and palladium items hallmarked during April all showed a year-on-year rise.

Total hallmarking at all four of the UK assay offices dropped just 5.1% year on year to 632,216 items, while total gold hallmarking rose 16.2%, total platinum hallmarking inched up 6.8% and total palladium hallmarking soared 55.5%.

Silver was the only precious metal group to show a decline in the total number of items hallmarked, falling 21.5% on the same month in 2011.

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In gold, the upper purities and lower purities showed growth with 24ct up 69.2% for 999 parts and 3,466.7% for 990 parts gold. 9ct gold also showed a rise of 31.9%. Other purities all showed a decline, with 22ct down 16.9%, 18ct down 6.8% and 14ct down 22%.

The only purity of silver to show an increase on last year’s figures was 800 parts silver with a rise of 75%. The other purities all fell with fine silver down 0.6%, Britannia down 46.2% and sterling down 21.6%.

Platinum was a tale of two halves with the higher purities showing increases – 999 parts was up 100% and 950 parts was up 6.8% – while the lower purities slowed with 900 parts down 50% and 850 down 60%.

Palladium meanwhile showed growth at the lower end of the market with 500 parts palladium recording a meteoric rise of 28,633.3%. 950 parts also showed a rise with an increase of 45.7% while 999 parts palladium dropped 100%.

A spokesperson from the Birmingham Assay Office said: “A positive uplift in the number of gold items hallmarked, up 16.2%, over 41,000 items, is encouraging but the number of silver articles hallmarked continues to decline with a drop of 21.5%, 82,000 items. Platinum was up 6.8% and palladium was up 55.5%, both driven largely by the bridal market.”

The facts and figures: UK hallmarking in April 2012 vs April 2011

Gold
24ct gold (999) – up 69.2%
24ct gold (990) – up 3,466.7%
22ct gold (916) – down 16.9%
18ct gold (750) – down 6.8%
14ct gold (585) – down 22%
9ct gold (375) – up 31.9%

Silver
Fine silver (999) – down 0.6%
Britannia silver (958) – down 46.2%
Sterling silver (925) – down 21.6%
800 parts silver – up 75%

Platinum
999 parts platinum – up 100%
950 parts platinum – up 6.8%
900 parts platinum – down 50%
850 parts platinum – down 60%

Palladium
999 parts palladium – down 100%
950 parts palladium – up 45.7%
500 parts palladium – up 28,633.3%

 

 

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