2011 round up shows 3.9m fewer items marked compared to 2010.
Final results for last year’s hallmarking figures from the four UK Assay Offices reveals that in total, the number of items marked last year fell by 26.8%, to a total 10,861,714 items – 3.98m fewer items than 2010.
A report from the Assay Offices said that hallmarking volumes felt the effect of the continuing high precious metal prices throughout 2011.
In total silver felt the biggest decrease in figures, falling by a total 29.4% during the year, and maintaining an average 30% decrease most months last year.
Gold hallmarking fell by a total 24.1% in 2011, with a total 4.4m items marked – 1.4m fewer than 2010.
All categories of metal have been affected with platinum down 10.3% and palladium down 6.7%.
For the third year running more silver articles were hallmarked than gold, but the increase in the price of silver throughout 2011 took its toll on the number of silver units being submitted for hallmarking.
A statement from the Assay Offices said: “The shift within the jewellery industry towards fashion branded products, many containing little if any precious metal, and more silver jewellery being made under the hallmarking weight of 7.78 grams has also affected the total number units being handled by the UK Assay Offices”.
The facts and figures: UK hallmarking in December 2011 vs December 2010
22ct gold 916 – down 4.7%
18ct gold 750 – down 13.2%
14ct gold 585 – down 61.3%
9ct gold 375 – down 19.7%
Britannia silver 958 – up 79.9%
Sterling silver 925 – down 30.2%
800 parts silver – up 19.4%
999 parts platinum – down 61.5%
950 parts platinum – down 6.1%
900 parts platinum – up 57.1%
850 parts platinum – up 100%
999 parts palladium – down 100%
950 parts palladium – up 21.1%
500 parts palladium – up 168.2%