Consumer Watch: third of "gold" jewellery sold online could be fake

New research from the British Hallmarking Council and the Goldsmiths' Company Assay Office reveals that a third of “gold” jewellery being sold online is suspected to be unhallmarked and therefore may be fake, raising concerns for consumers.

Noel Hunter, Chairman of the British Hallmarking Council, says: “It is illegal to sell anything in the UK made from a precious metal (silver, gold, platinum and palladium) over a certain weight without a hallmark – a stamp of quality that protects the consumer by confirming that what they are buying is made from real precious metal. Our research suggests that around 150,000 items of fake “gold” jewellery could be listed for sale in the UK each year. 

The UK Hallmarking Act (1973) was put in place to protect consumers and retail jewellers from counterfeits, but the application of the legislation to online trading activity remains untested. And we have seen little appetite from the internet giants to step up enforcement or adequately protect consumers.”  


Consumer Watch: Infographic

This infographic provides a visual guide to the research that was undertaken as well as the scale of the problem facing consumers. It also provides advice to consumers when buying jewellery, including a guide to the UK hallmarking keys. Download a copy of this infographic below.


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