I am alarmed at the general lack of understanding as regards hallmarking.
As I intimated in my previous blog the UK has the most stringent regulations of any country in the world with regards to the marking of all items created from any of the four ‘precious’ metals, Silver, Gold, Palladium and Platinum. These regulations are there to safeguard the public from fraudulent and miss-representational practices by unscrupulous companies and individuals.
I have been alarmed in recent months having had a number of conversations with both British people holidaying in Turkey and also clients entering our studio as to the general lack of understanding as to what constitutes an official hallmark. Many I spoke to thought that a gold item stamped either 18ct. or 18k (items made and stamped abroad) meant it was made from 18 carat gold.
It is not!
Anyone can stamp anything 18ct or 18k if they have a stamp. They could in effect stamp a 9 carat or 14 carat item 18ct and charge you accordingly. Worse, it could be that they stamp a base metal item and then have it gold plated.
Having the regulations we have in the UK is more relevant now than ever before with people purchasing from some ‘invisible’ companies on the internet and more and more people holidaying in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and the Caribbean, places where jewellery stores are plentiful, sales pressure is strong yet regulations on metal quality being sold are very weak.
Look out for my next blog which will be entitled;
“Understanding hallmarking and the significance of each mark.”