Assay Office unveils world’s first online hallmark assurance scheme.
Edinburgh Assay Office is set to launch an initiative called Assay Assured the The Jewellery Show London, the world’s first online assurance scheme for jewellery retailers and consumers shopping online.
Assay Assured already has a number of brands on board including Links of London, Ortak, Monica Vinader and Clogau Gold.
The project if focused on hallmarking and is a reaction to the amount of counterfeit branded and unbranded jewellery being sold online.
Assay Assured will allow all types of online jewellery retailers, from big brands to small independents, to prove the products they sell are accredited and genuine, adhering to a strict code of conduct centred on the Hallmarking Act and backed by the Edinburgh Assay Office.
Scott Walter, chief executive of Edinburgh Assay Office said: “UK Hallmarks have provided consumer protection for hundreds of years by guaranteeing the precious metal content in a piece of jewellery.
“Today online shoppers have no way of checking whether a piece of jewellery is hallmarked or not. Assay Assured is a digital solution to an ancient problem and we believe it will provide the protection consumers look for online. The issue of fake and counterfeit jewellery online is plaguing the industry and honest retailers are suffering because online sales often circumvent existing regulation and consumer protection.”
The Assay Assured scheme will be underpinned by a code of conduct for online jewellery sales, in compliance with the Hallmarking Act and also covering the sale of counterfeit branded jewellery.
Before accrediting a site Assay Assured will first carry out an audit of the online retailer and their website. Only if they meet the requirements will they be asked to sign up to Assay Assured jewellery retailer’s agreement, while will allow them to carry the Assay Assured jewellery retailer logo on their website.
The logo will link directly to a unique secure certificate, which will confirm their authenticity as an Assay Assured retailer. Within the certificate the consumer will be able to link to a consumer focused landing page giving details about the scheme and UK hallmarking.
Although consumers will, in the first instance, be encouraged to report any queries relating to the code of conduct to the retailer, the certificate and the landing page will also allow consumers to report a query to Assay Assured about a product, should they fail to resolve their issue with the retailer.
The initiative will be covered by an annual fee, starting at £125, dependent on the estimated average number of monthly online transactions.