London,
08
September
2008
|
00:00
Europe/London

No stamp, no sale!

Consumers in Hackney are being warned not to get ripped off with fake jewellery. Trading Standards officers have been cracking down on jewellers who don’t sell properly hallmarked items and last week a local jeweller was fined £4500, plus £1300 for offering to sell jewellery without correct a hallmark stamp.

Mr Graham, owner of Gemini-eye jewellers on Bradbury Street in Dalston pleaded guilty to six charges of offering to supply unhallmarked silver jewellery at Thames Magistrates Court on 3 September.

The law requires jewellers to make sure any piece of jewellery described as gold, sliver or platinum is hallmarked. That means it has been independently tested by one of the Assay Office’s in the UK, which guarantees that it conforms to all legal standards of purity.

Cllr Alan Laing, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods said: “It costs a jeweller £70 to register to have items hallmarked and 60 pence per item. There is absolutely no excuse for misleading customers, by selling items without proof that they are the genuine article. Clearly the courts also take this issue very seriously.”

Last year, Trading Standards officers carried out checks in 30 jewellers across the borough, which resulted in over 9800 articles of jewellery being passed to the London Assay office for hallmarking. Officers found at the time that only 35% of the jewellers visited were complying with hallmarking law.

Each trader was instructed at the time to improve standards and subsequent checks found a 65% improvement. However, four traders did not heed warnings, including Mr Graham who is the first trader to be prosecuted. Further prosecutions are expected.

For more information on hallmarking contact Trading Standards on 020 8356 4929.

Ends



For further information please contact:



Lara Edgar

Media Officer

Hackney Council

020 8356 3502

lara.edgar@hackney.gov.uk





Notes to editor



UK hallmarks contain at least three symbols; the sponsor s mark (often called a maker s mark), a number indicating the purity or fineness in parts per thousand, and an Assay Office mark.


Jewellers are required to display a current hallmarking notice to help customers determine what the hallmark means, in terms of fineness of the precious metal, the sponsor mark, and the assay office mark, all of which are compulsory, for each item.


Any charges brought against jewellers will relate to the following sections of the Hallmarking Act 1973:


S1 (b) for offering to supply, an unhallmarked article to which a description indicating that it is wholly or partly made of gold, silver or platinum.



S11 for a dealer failing to exhibit a hallmarking notice at all times in a conspicuous position for customers to read.