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UK Jewellery Market Trends and Hallmarking
Like the world economy, the UK jewellery market has seen significant highs and lows, both in quality and quantity of fine jewellery pieces. Just in the last decade or so, the quantity of 9ct yellow gold being submitted to be hallmarked has decreased. Changing fashion demands and decrease in hand crafted jewellery are cited by the Birmingham Assay Office as two significant reasons for the decline in demand for yellow gold.
The current UK jewellery market has seen a significant upswing in registration of white metals, including white gold, platinum, silver and palladium. Fashion trends in clothing and accessories often have a direct effect on the jewellery market, not only in the UK, but around the world. Less often seen today are jewellery pieces made with yellow gold, as the metal is often seen as passť or old fashioned.
Regardless of the current world economy, all jewellery markets will find buyers with readily disposable income; eager to purchase precious metal jewellery pieces to wear or heirloom for future generations. Precious metal jewellery pieces are often viewed as profitable investments for the savvy buyer.
Hallmarking is a legal requirement for all precious metal jewellery pieces manufactured in the UK, and serves to ensure the consumer is purchasing an authentic precious metal jewellery piece. The high market price of precious metals makes this legal process even more essential today; with the temptation to use a higher content of non-precious alloys when producing jewellery pieces.
Hallmarking has been the UK legal standard since the Statute of Edward was introduced in the year 1300. The process of validating the precious metal content in any piece of jewellery via an independent required testing authority is necessary to deter potential fraud and deception. Not only does the validation process protect the consumer, it also serves to protect the manufacturers of jewellery pieces from dishonest competitors; some of whom may choose to profit from lowering the precious metal content of jewellery pieces.
Current UK market trends in jewellery and precious metals will fluctuate, like any money market around the world. Fortunately for the UK jewellery market, both purchasers and manufacturers, there are significant and strict standards that must be adhered to. Consumers should always use care and caution to only buy precious metal jewellery pieces that have been legally validated and hallmarked.