New website for British Hallmarking Council
July 20, 2010 – The British Hallmarking Council (BHC) has launched an informative new website setting out the key facts about hallmarking in the UK and detailing the activities and members of the Council.
The websites of the four independent UK Assay Offices who are permitted to strike the UK Hallmark are also linked into the site.
The combined websites provide an overview of all aspects of hallmarking for businesses working in or with the UK jewellery or silversmithing industry, and their customers.
The British Hallmarking Council falls under the remit of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the new website sits within the BIS website at www.bis.gov.uk/britishhallmarkingcouncil
This is part of the government-wide initiative to rationalise websites and ensure people enjoy easier access to information.
Hallmarking is the UK’s oldest form of consumer protection and with rising precious metal prices it is more important than ever for those buying or selling jewellery and other precious metal articles to be fully informed of the prevailing legislation.
Under the Hallmarking Act 1973, all gold, silver platinum and palladium articles over a minimum threshold weight must be independently checked by an Assay Office and every piece hallmarked to guarantee its precious metal content before it can be described or sold as precious metal.
There are currently four independent, separate Assay offices in the UK, in Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Sheffield and their activities are supervised by the British Hallmarking Council.
The Council was created by the Hallmarking Act 1973 to oversee the hallmarking activities of the Assay Offices, to ensure that there is adequate provision of hallmarking in the UK, to advise the Secretary of State with respect to all matters concerning the execution of the Act and to ensure the Hallmarking Act is enforced.
The Council is funded by the Assay Offices and is comprised of a balance of members of the jewellery trade, the Assay offices, Trading Standards, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and people from outside the jewellery industry but with relevant expertise and skills.
David Gwyther, Secretary of the British Hallmarking Council, said, “The UK hallmarking regime is one of the most rigorous in the world and provides excellent protection for both consumers and the trade. This new website will be a useful source of information for many who want to understand its workings in more detail.”