The British Hallmarking Council (BHC) and National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) have announced the launch of the high-profile HALO Award for Hallmarking Awareness and Learning Online.
Noel Hunter, Chair of the British Hallmarking Council, said:
“The hallmark has protected jewellers and consumers for hundreds of years and remains the buyer’s guarantee that they are buying genuine precious metal. This is ever more relevant as the market experiences the rise in the gold price and growth of global internet sales.
“The HALO Award is launched to give appropriate recognition to those businesses who are professionally educating the customer online as to what the hallmark is and why it is so important. Hallmarking maybe one of the oldest forms of consumer protection, but this award really encourages retailers to modernise how the integrity of the hallmark is communicated and presented.”
Online misrepresentation of jewellery products and the sale of unhallmarked products has given rise to increasing concerns. A third of jewellers see online marketplaces as a threat. Meanwhile only 63% of consumers know what a hallmark is, and are therefore not seeking the important reassurance of a hallmark when they buy.
Marion Wilson, hallmarking consultant, said:
“This is a vicious downward spiral. Trading Standards Authorities do not have the resource to enforce hallmarking, particularly online. Consumer knowledge is low, leaving them vulnerable to fraud. Misleading online offers are competing unfairly. The only viable way to break this cycle is consumer education.
“The best opportunity to educate the consumer is at the Point of Sale, particularly online. Whilst articles are usually described carefully, the actual word hallmark is conspicuous by its absence from most hallmarking compliant jewellery websites. Consumer awareness will continue to dwindle until this changes.”
Digital Dealers Notice is the first step
Retail jewellers will be eligible to enter for the Award if they can demonstrate excellence in their online promotion of hallmarking. This may be through a marketing campaign, an audio or video promotion or some other innovative approach to promote consumer awareness.
As a first step the new Digital Dealers Notice and accompanying video are now easily downloaded to add to websites or social media and present important information in a simple format.
Winners of the HALO Award will receive a magnificent silver salver to hold for a year, high profile recognition through a media campaign and a year’s subscription to the Assay Assured Scheme promoted by the UK Assay Offices.
The Award will be presented at the prestigious Benevolent Society event which this year will be staged in the magnificent ballroom of the Grand Hotel, Birmingham on the 8th December.
For more information visit https://www.naj.co.uk/halo