Seminar will highlight security, hallmarking and trade regulations.

A new joint initiative has been founded by the British Jewellers’ Association (BJA) and the Birmingham Assay Office (BAO) to highlight the issues facing the Asian jewellery community, with a particular focus on the West Midlands.

The scheme has been organised with the help of West Midlands Police, local TV, radio and press, and work is currently being undertaken by both jewellery organisations to present a wide reaching seminar that will be held in Birmingham on April 30.


The seminar will discuss the issues of security, hallmarking and trading in second hand jewellery, tailored to the Asian jewellery market in the area.

Simon Rainer, chief executive of the BJA said: “The escalating price of gold has unfortunately led to an increasing rate of crime against the Asian community.

“The seminar will highlight the precautions that Asian jewellery retailers need to take to lower the risk of crime against them and their property. It will also alert them to the various tactics that the criminal fraternity are now employing to gain illegal access to trading premises.”

As the gold of choice for the Asian community is predominantly 22ct customers are also vulnerable to being cheated if the jewellery is not of the stated fineness. If it has not been assayed and hallmarked – a legal requirement to protect both the consumer and the trade – retailers and consumers have no way of telling what percentage of gold it contains.

Michael Allchin, assay master at the Birmingham Assay Office explained that this has become a problem for both retailers and consumers in recent months, particularly in the Birmingham area.

“Most recently an operation conducted by Birmingham Trading Standards netted a £50K haul of unmarked jewellery from 21 retailers over the West Midlands.

“We are using the seminar as a great opportunity to explain the importance of hallmarking and how Birmingham Assay Office can work with local traders to ensure they stay the right side of the law.”

The seminar will also be the platform for the official launch of The Gold Standard; a joint collaboration between Surrey Police, the BJA, the NAG and National Pawnbrokers’ Association (NPA), to provide a voluntary and uniform code on how to buy second hand jewellery over the counter.

Tickets for the seminar which will be held at the Jewellery Quarter Conference Centre are available by contacting the BJA.