Silver hallmarking reaches record level in April

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Precious metal accounts for 56% of market as gold turns consumers off.

The number of silver items hallmarked reached a record level in April as high gold prices continue to drive consumers and designers towards alternative precious metals.

The number of silver items hallmarked in the UK in April jumped 25 percent on the same month in 2009, representing 56 percent of the total number of all items hallmarked. Silver represented 50 percent of all hallmarked items in April 2009.

Overall hallmarking figures in April showed a year-on-year rise of 6.9 percent, with more than 1 million items hallmarked during the month.

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The number of gold items hallmarked continued to drop in April, with 9ct down 18 percent, 18ct down 3.4 percent, 22 ct down 31 percent, and 24 ct down 71 percent.

14ct gold continued to buck general gold trends for the second month in a row. The number of 14ct gold items hallmarked in April rose 77 percent on last year, following a 21 percent rise in March.

Platinum hallmarking increased, up 6.2 percent in April. Palladium, which as yet has no year-on-year comparatives, hit 11,000 items in the month and Birmongham Assay Office business relations manager Marie Brennan described it as “establishing itself as an alternative white metal”.

Brennan said she expects the trends seen in April to “continue throughout the next few months” as gold prices continue to rise.

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