As reported last month, the latest hallmarking figures for April 2016 show an 11.6% dip in silver. With rose gold’s continuing success and a predicted comeback for yellow gold, Professional Jeweller explores how silver is faring on the high street.
Sarah Wharton, owner of 925 in Canterbury, has been running the specialist silver jewellers since 2001. Contrary to the hallmarking drop, sales in the precious metal are thriving. “There are more customers and they are each spending a little bit more,” she comments.
“I’ve always loved silver and was never really interested in gold. Also, there are plenty of shops selling gold but when I started it was quite hard to find nice silver jewellery. I wouldn’t consider changing now; being a specialist is what makes my shop stand out, and it means I can offer an in depth range.”
Tom Wilson, designer at Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery, Cambridge, comments: “Rose gold is really picking up, as is yellow. However they’re no risk to silver, not at all. Silver is a constant. Silver and palladium, the latter probably being our most popular white metal.”
Britni-May Edwards, senior sales and social media manager at Page Fine Jewellery in Ely, agrees. “Trends can take a while to ripple through, and rose gold is at a peak for us,” explains Edwards.
“It did take a while for it to get through, but it’s now showing no signs of slowing down. Nine carat gold sales are creeping up now. It’s more noticeable because it wasn’t selling before, probably because the price was so high. However, silver is definitely more popular and is still a stronger seller than gold.”
The total number of articles hallmarked across the four UK Assay Offices in April 2016 dipped by 2.5% compared to the same month in 2015, with a total of 790,594 pieces being handled by the Assay Offices compared to 810,831 last year.
Silver, platinum and palladium all suffered a decrease in articles hallmarked. Silver dipped the most by 11.6%, followed by platinum by 6.3% and palladium by 1.9%. Gold saw a 6.1% increase.