UK hallmarking continues downwards trend in July

Silver and gold down, platinum steady but palladium rises.

Hallmarking continued its downward trend in July with 23.9% less items being hallmarked than the year before.

Just 896,015 items were submitted to the UK’s four Assay Offices for hallmarking, compared with 1.18 million in July 2010.

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Silver hallmarking took a major hit in the month across the board, with the total number of silver items hallmarked dropping 31% year on year. The Birmingham Assay Office described the drop as “unsurprising” due to the price of silver peaking at £23.50 per troy oz during the month compared to its July 2010 price of less than half that at £11.75.

Gold hallmarking also declined, with a drop of 13.6% on 2010’s figures. All categories showed a drop apart from 22ct gold which registered a nominal year on year rise of 7.6%. The worst hit purity was 14ct gold, which fell 62.9% in the month.

Total platinum hallmarking was flat. 900 parts platinum was the only purity to register a rise, jumping 75%, while 999 parts took the biggest hit with a drop of 50%.

Palladium was the only precious metal to register an overall rise in the number of items hallmarked, jumping 5% year on year. The growth was led by the lower-quality end of the market with 500 part palladium doubling year in year while 999 parts palladium halved.

The facts and figures: UK hallmarking in July 2011 vs July 2010

22ct gold 916 – up 7.6%
18ct gold 750 – down 10.6%
14ct gold 585 – down 62.9%
9ct gold 375 – down 12.5%

Britannia silver 958 – down 71.4%
Sterling silver 925 – down 31.4%
800 parts silver – down 64.7%

999 parts platinum – down 50%
950 parts platinum – down 0.6%
900 parts platinum – up 75%
850 parts platinum – down 33.3%

999 parts palladium – down 100%
950 parts palladium – down 6.1%
500 parts palladium – up 100%



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