UK hallmarking drops by a quarter in December

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Palladium has strongest y-o-y rise while silver delivers weakest.

Hallmarking again took a substantial dive in December with the total number of items hallmarked in the UK falling 24.9% year on year.

November had been a more promising month with a decline of just 1% but the UK’s four assay offices were faced with an overall decline last month as the number of items hallmarked fell to 672,287 in the figures compiled by the Birmingham Assay Office.

Of all the metals palladium fared best with an increase of 13.7%, followed by platinum up 0.9%. Gold took the hardest hit, falling 7.2%, and silver dropped 5.1%.

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Within gold hallmarking 24ct gold took the hardest hit with 999 and 990 purities falling 96.9% to 2 items and 66.7% to one item. This was followed by 9ct which fell 26.9% to 206,224 items, 14ct which dropped 21.7% to 4,336 and 18ct which slid 12% to 56,523 items. The only purity to show an increase was 22ct gold which inched up 2.7% to 18,868 items.

In silver the lowest purity, 800 parts, showed a significant surge of 439.5% to 232 items. All the other purities were in decline with Britannia silver taking the biggest hit down32.7% to 928 items, followed by sterling silver down 27.9% to 362,447 items and fine silver down 6.4% to 1,266 items.

While platinum enjoyed an overall month-on-month rise, 950 was the only purity to show an increase, rising 1.4% to 14,351 items. 900 dropped 63.6% to four items and 850 dropped 50% to two items, while there were no 999 parts platinum items hallmarked in December, down from five in December 2011.

Palladium had the strongest month of all the metals and it was the lowest purity that led the charge with 500 parts up 123% to 640 items. 950 showed a rise of 16.8% to 6,463 items and there were no items of 999 hallmarked, which was in line with last year’s figures.

 

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

Gold
24ct gold (999) – down 96.9%
24ct gold (990) – down 66.7%
22ct gold (916) – up 2.7%
18ct gold (750) – down 12%
14ct gold (585) – down 21.7%
9ct gold (375) – down 26.9%
Total gold items – down 22.8%

Silver
Fine silver (999) – down 6.4%
Britannia silver (958) – down 32.7%
Sterling silver (925) – down 27.9%
800 parts silver – up 439.5%
Total silver items – down 27.8%

Platinum
999 parts platinum – down 100%
950 parts platinum – up 1.4%
900 parts platinum – down 63.6%
850 parts platinum – down 50%
Total platinum items – up 1.3%

Palladium
999 parts palladium – up 100%
950 parts palladium – up 16.8%
500 parts palladium – up 123%
Total palladium items – up 22%

Total items hallmarked – down 24.9%

 

 

 

 

 

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