Increased hallmarking of 14ct gold beads reflects bead & charm trends.
July saw a further decline in the number of articles hallmarked in the UK, with total figures down 12.6 percent on the same month last year at 1.18 million.
Silver again performed better than gold, representing 60 percent of the total items hallmarked, though numbers were still down 11 percent on 2009.
The number of gold items hallmarked declined by 15 percent. There was, however, a significant increase in 14ct gold items being hallmarked last month, with the figure nearly doubling from 12,500 to 24,000. These were mainly beads, as opposed to complete articles of jewellery, reflecting the continuing trend for mixed metal beads and charms.
Palladium continued its emergence as an alternative precious metal with 9,320 articles marked in July, bringing the total Palladium articles marked in the first full year to 134,000.