Gold, silver and platinum figures fall with palladium 500 increasing.
Hallmarking figures for May have been released, showing a fall in figures across the board, with a total drop of 32.5% compared to May last year.
The number of gold items hallmarked fell a total of 27.4% in a year-on comparison, with a total of 293,342 gold items Assayed. Typical carat weights including 9ct and 18ct fell, with only 22ct gold seeing an upward trend with 1,438 more pieces hallmarked in May 2011 compared to May of last year.
In total, 197,793 pieces of 9ct gold were hallmarked, 64,641 items in 18ct and 3,396 in 14ct.
Silver hallmarking also fell, with a total decrease of 37.2%. Only 410,706 items of sterling silver (925) were hallmarked, compared to 653,716 in May last year. Interestingly, Britannia silver increased, with an additional 792 items Assayed this year compared to the same month last year.
The number of platinum items also fell, with just under 20,000 items Assayed in May with a purity of 950. Only 15 items of platinum with a standard of 999 were hallmarked, matching figures from May last year. In all, platinum hallmarking fell 15.6%.
Palladium was the only metal to see a truly positive increase in hallmarking figures, with an extra 1,251 pieces hallmarked this year, an increased of 12.5% compared to last May. Palladium of 500 marks has appeared a popular choice this May, with an increase in figures of 1,484 items hallmarked, compared to 11 in May 2010. This means the number of palladium 500 items Assayed has increased 13,491% year-on-year.
Compared to April, figures have improved just slightly to 32.5%; April’s figures had fallen 34.2% compared to the same month last year.
The Assay offices have offered that economic uncertainty has had an on-going affect on hallmarking volumes. The total number of units hallmarked across the four UK Assay Offices was down 32.5% against last year.
Silver volumes continue to be affected with a reduction of 37% in the number of units submitted for hallmarking. The Assay offices have said this is "hardly surprising" given the continuing high price of silver which reached an average of £22.50 per troy oz in May compared to May 2010 when the average was £12.58.