The Thanet Times (17/05/09) really went to town this week regarding the problems Hiltons Jewellers have landed themselves in with the trading standards. I know Hiltons have admitted to the charges to mislabelling etc., but being someone who likes to look into the detail of things, I was more than interested in the charges and references to the unhallmarked gold. Using google I looked on the British Hallmarking Council website and the Assay Office website and found something which does add to some truth to what Richard Hilton said regarding Hallmarks.
It appears that under the Hallmarking Act 1973 and the 1998 amendments, any Gold item over the weight of 1 gramme, Silver items over 7.78 grammes and Platinum over 0.5 gramme must by law have an official hallmark. The hallmark may be either a British Hallmarking council mark or a official foreign Hallmark by a country signed up to the International Hallmark Convention.
However, as Mr Hilton points out, in this country we are awash with items for sale above these weights stamped just .925 for silver or just stamped 9ct which are not hallmarks. The punches to do this can even be bought from abroad over the Internet. I have seen both locally and nationaly items that are for sale that do not comply with the law.
I do wonder in the near future are we to expect trading standards to be busy enforcing the law or are such laws only applicable to Mr Hilton.