Leads in demand from UK to hallmark articles below exemption weights.
By Deepa Narwani
The Edinburgh Assay Office has experienced an increase in demand from its UK customers to hallmark articles that normally fall below the UK exemption weights due to new legislative changes that have come into force in Ireland.
From July 1 new changes to Irish Hallmarking regulations now mean that it is an offence to sell precious metal articles without displaying a new Dealers Notice.
Guidance from the Irish Assay Office in Dublin has been issued reminding Irish jewellery retailers that all gold, silver and platinum articles, regardless of weight, must be legally hallmarked prior to being offered for sale. Failure to comply with the new regulations could result in fines or even imprisonment.
Edinburgh Assay office assay master and chief executive Scott Walter said: “Unlike the UK, Ireland has no minimum exemption weights for precious metal articles. This effectively means that any article being described as gold, silver or platinum must be hallmarked before it is offered for sale.
Guidance issued by the Dublin Assay Office defines a legal hallmark as either an Irish Hallmark, International Convention Hallmark or another approved hallmark, which included UK hallmarks.
Walter added: “A large percentage of Ireland’s jewellery imports come from UK based companies and this has led to an influx of inquiries about hallmarking stock that would normally fall below the UK’s exemption weights. Some companies choose to hallmark orders on an individual basis for Irish customers while others choose to hold hallmarked stock of their normally weight exempt product, in order to satisfy Irish orders more quickly.”