UK hallmarking continues downwards trend in July

The Goldsmiths Registration Scheme will allow silversmiths and small jewellers to use Fairtrade precious metals (Getty)

Silver and gold down, platinum steady but palladium rises.

Hallmarking continued its downward trend in July with 23.9% less items being hallmarked than the year before.

Just 896,015 items were submitted to the UK’s four Assay Offices for hallmarking, compared with 1.18 million in July 2010.

Silver hallmarking took a major hit in the month across the board, with the total number of silver items hallmarked dropping 31% year on year. The Birmingham Assay Office described the drop as “unsurprising” due to the price of silver peaking at £23.50 per troy oz during the month compared to its July 2010 price of less than half that at £11.75.

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Gold hallmarking also declined, with a drop of 13.6% on 2010’s figures. All categories showed a drop apart from 22ct gold which registered a nominal year on year rise of 7.6%. The worst hit purity was 14ct gold, which fell 62.9% in the month.

Total platinum hallmarking was flat. 900 parts platinum was the only purity to register a rise, jumping 75%, while 999 parts took the biggest hit with a drop of 50%.

Palladium was the only precious metal to register an overall rise in the number of items hallmarked, jumping 5% year on year. The growth was led by the lower-quality end of the market with 500 part palladium doubling year in year while 999 parts palladium halved.

The facts and figures: UK hallmarking in July 2011 vs July 2010

Gold
22ct gold 916 – up 7.6%
18ct gold 750 – down 10.6%
14ct gold 585 – down 62.9%
9ct gold 375 – down 12.5%

Silver
Britannia silver 958 – down 71.4%
Sterling silver 925 – down 31.4%
800 parts silver – down 64.7%

Platinum
999 parts platinum – down 50%
950 parts platinum – down 0.6%
900 parts platinum – up 75%
850 parts platinum – down 33.3%

Palladium
999 parts palladium – down 100%
950 parts palladium – down 6.1%
500 parts palladium – up 100%

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