Hallmarking under threat ?

Reports yesterday suggested that the UK Government is reviewing the system for hallmarking with its Red Tape Challenge as its tries to reduce regulation for consumers and businesses. The historic system of hallmarking has been in use in the UK for centuries and in its present guise since 1973.

Whilst it makes sense to reduce unnecessary red tape, the hallmarking standard does provide important controls over the supply of precious metals such as silver, gold and more recently palladium in the UK.

As a result valuable items of jewellery are independently tested and marked to a standard of purity such as 18 carat gold.

Without the work of the Assay Offices in the UK, jewellery lovers and businesses alike may find that they are buying a different quality of precious metal to that which they are expecting.

We'd like hallmarking to stay. If you agree, please add your comments to the debate here.

UPDATE

On 28th July 2011, following a successful industry and consumer campaign to keep this historic practice, the Government announced that the hallmarking system would survive in its present form.