In the UK, the 1973 Hallmarking Act is designed to protect consumers and retailers when buying and selling precious metals. There are some complexities to Hallmarking, but the key elements are:
Newly Manufactured Jewellery
Must be hallmarked as per the Hallmarking Act before sale. This includes items from various sources like factories, jewellers, silversmiths, wholesalers, or retailers.
The need for hallmarking for pre-loved items sold on auction sites, in pawnbrokers’ shops, or by jewellers is not straightforward. The Hallmarking Act sets rules for these items.
Purpose of the Hallmarking Act
The Act ensures that precious metal articles are not described or sold without a proper hallmark. This verification protects consumers and honest traders.
Specific exemptions exist for items made before certain dates:
- Platinum items before January 1, 1975, are exempt.
- Palladium items before January 1, 2010, are exempt.
- Some gold and silver items before January 1, 1975, are exempt based on certain criteria (like weight, filigree work, engraving, or setting with stones).
Items manufactured before 1950, which should have been hallmarked originally but lack a hallmark, are now treated as exempt if they meet certain purity criteria and have not been improperly altered since 1950.
These regulations ensure that both new and old jewellery comply with the Hallmarking Act's requirements, protecting consumers and maintaining transparency in the trade of precious metal articles.