Should hallmarking be scrapped?


If you're a jewellery fan, you may have heard about the government's plans to abolish British hallmarking. We would like to know what you think and to encourage you to leave feedback on the Red Tape Challenge site.

The key facts

All gold, silver, platinum and palladium items sold in the UK currently must be hallmarked (unless they are very lightweight) regardless of where they are made.

Hallmarking has survived for over 700 years. With 85% of jewellery sold in the UK now being imported from countries where hallmarking isn't enforced, it's more important to have a strong hallmarking policy in the UK to protect us from counterfeiting.

It can also help to protect our gold jewellery. In some countries it's accepted that gold jewellery may not contain quite as much fine gold as it claims to. Without a hallmarking system in place, no one would know that a gold item is under carat.   

Let us know what you think about hallmarking and leave your feedback here on the Red Tape Challenge site.


  1. Rosie May 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm -  Reply

    NO !!! It should definitely NOT be scrapped !!

  2. Denise Connon May 5, 2011 at 2:10 pm -  Reply

    As a very proud Brummie I am saddened that the history and craftmanship of hallmarking that is world know from the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter could be ended, not only that but as a customer it is the added reassurance that you are buying a quality product will the hallmark addition.

  3. rosemary May 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm -  Reply

    what will this mean to the customer. how will we know what is real or fake. if they stop hall marking any tom dick and harry will try to pass there junk off as the real thing. we must have some sort of security.what will happen. we trust qvc but there alot of places that are not as honest.

  4. jane dawson May 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm -  Reply

    please please do not scrap hallmarking

  5. Lynnette Growns May 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm -  Reply

    No it should definitely not be scrapped!!!

  6. ann heward May 5, 2011 at 2:25 pm -  Reply

    No it should not be scrapped otherwise you will be unsure of what you are buying.

  7. Sandra Rowlings May 5, 2011 at 2:28 pm -  Reply

    Definitely should NOT be scrapped, How elsse would we know if something is real?

  8. Kristina Moore May 5, 2011 at 2:53 pm -  Reply

    Hallmarking confirms what an item is made from, who made it, where it was made and when and this information is invaluable to everyone who buys jewellery, flatware or antiques. Not having the information on tap so to speak will mean that things could be made out of any metal.

  9. Elaine Hogg May 5, 2011 at 3:00 pm -  Reply

    Scrapping hall marking is just plain daft. What a stupid idea! Hallmarks are the only way you know what your item is actually made of. Wonder what bright spark thought this up???

  10. mrs k mcquiston May 5, 2011 at 3:54 pm -  Reply

    absolutely NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

  11. Wendy Carlin May 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm -  Reply

    Hall marking should no be scrapped, as the previous post said it is an assurance that you are buying quality goods.

  12. mechelle stephen May 5, 2011 at 4:25 pm -  Reply

    It is part of our heritage and should not be scrapped it can put shoppers at risk too.

  13. Angie Barton May 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm -  Reply

    hallmarking has been with us for over 700 years as a sign of quality, why on earth would we want to abolish it now. A hallmark gives you confidence that you are buying the genuine article.

  14. Louise Curts May 5, 2011 at 5:40 pm -  Reply

    Hallmarking must NOT be scrapped, it is the buyer’s assurance that their purchase is genuine, otherwise how are we to know. Let the government get on with running the country.

  15. Louise Curts May 5, 2011 at 5:45 pm -  Reply

    What is the idea behind this? Hallmarking is important when making a purchase, to ensure the buyer is getting a genuine piece of jewellery. Without a hallmark how are we to know? SAVE THE HALLMARK!!

  16. Di Everett May 5, 2011 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    Ridiculous suggestion. All the reasons for hallmarking in the first place still apply. Absolutely NO!

  17. Nikki May 5, 2011 at 6:33 pm -  Reply

    Hallmarking was one of the earliest forms of Consumer Protection ensuring that the item in question is genuine in terms of the precious metal in question; it has the added bonus of giving the age of the item. If hallmarking is scrapped (preposterous idea), will we also see modern items being made and given an older hallmark? Sounds like a conman’s dream to me! I have registered my objection on the Red Tape Challenge site and beg everyone else to do the same. This needs as much publicity as possible. Thank you QVC for joining the battle.

  18. carol rickard May 5, 2011 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

    as denise above said i am a brummie many of friends and relatives worked or do work in jewellery quarter no we want to know what we buy trust this goverment to try to spoil every thing its worked all these years if its not broke why mend it !!

  19. Sue Pini May 5, 2011 at 7:24 pm -  Reply


  20. Yvonne Mellor May 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm -  Reply

    Hallmarking was introduced in 1300 so the purity of precious metals were guaranteed. If this process is stopped how can that guarantee be kept. What has suddenly changed after more than 700 years to make someone even consider scrapping the hallmark. It is absolute nonsense that this is even considered. Hallmarking should NOT be scrapped.

  21. Louise May 5, 2011 at 8:15 pm -  Reply

    Although I am in favour of maintaining the procedure of hallmarking as a means of establishing the item’s british origin, there are other ways of ensuring the quality of the piece of jewellery one is purchasing. This can be rather convoluted, however, and more available for the professional/keen amateur collector. For someone simply going into a shop to purchase an item, the hallmark is extremely helpful. I do not believe that retail outlets would risk prosecution by selling jewellery branded as a metal from which it is not made. Hallmarking is more straightforward and comprehensive and should, therefore, remain as the prime method of establishing the origin and quality of an item.

  22. ANGELA DUNHAM May 5, 2011 at 8:38 pm -  Reply


  23. Joanna Downey May 5, 2011 at 9:55 pm -  Reply

    Hallmarking must remain and we all know what will happen if it is scrapped… The market will be flooded with inferior quality items and then some ‘bright spark’ will come up with a brilliant idea that will have cost a fortune in “consultancy” fees; create a system of regulation and quality control. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

  24. mrs gloria harris May 5, 2011 at 10:00 pm -  Reply

    No it should NOT be scrapped!!!!!!!!!!!

  25. aileen goodrum May 5, 2011 at 10:49 pm -  Reply

    please do not scrap the hallmark its brill to see it tells when, where and by who the jewellry was produced ans to your q?Elaine it has to be a man having a brain storm

  26. Ruth Heath May 5, 2011 at 11:35 pm -  Reply

    What is this country coming to, when we start thinking about scrapping a system that has worked for so many hundreds of years. How else are we going to be able to tell what is real and what is fake? Absolutely stupid, let us have some common sense and keep up a British tradition which is recognised by all. I have been to many jewellery fairs and would not even think about buying anything that does not have a British hallmark. My answer, obviously is, a resounding NO, it should not be scrapped.

  27. Sandra Burton May 5, 2011 at 11:40 pm -  Reply

    Please, do not scrap hallmarking I will think twice befor buying jewellery.

  28. christine tyldesley May 5, 2011 at 11:53 pm -  Reply

    No it should not be scrapped!!

  29. Lotus May 6, 2011 at 12:15 am -  Reply

    There are so many ways to pass something off as something it’s not. QVC sells platinum plated, and gold plated, silver. But it’s clearly hallmarked as silver, so you know what it is, and indeed that the silver unseen underneath is actually silver. You then can estimate it’s worth and not be paying gold or platinum prices for silver! Now you get the value of the hallmark in a buying situation.
    Hallmarking is one of those rare things we do well here. Indeed I’m sure other countries without such expertise look to the UK’s example with admiration. Certainly genuine hallmarked items are valued purchases here and to buyers outside the UK.
    I understand that technology at the Assay offices helps keep fraud at bay by informing the industry and public of any particular scams going on.
    In my case I’m lucky to have a lovely half carat solitaire diamond engagement ring in a platinum band, hallmarked with the Anchor (Birmingham Assay Office). My husband was absoluely reassured when spending his savings on this lovely purchase, that he was actually getting what he was paying for.
    To me the Assay mark is displaying honourable trading – and quality. If Hallmarking is abolished I feel that I won’t want to risk buying jewellery metals ever again so will choose alternative gift ideas as I just won’t be able to trust what I’m getting.
    Remember Ratners jewellers in the 1980’s, when someone from the company publically said their jewellery was **** ? It caused a complete meltdown of trust in that company which had a good enough reputation beforehand, and led to its demise.
    Fraud was widespread hundreds of years ago, imagine what it would be like these days with all the cheap technology available to the fraudsters.
    I think it’s a bad, bad idea. Can’t think of one positive for it.

  30. P Shearwood May 6, 2011 at 8:14 am -  Reply

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!! It is the only way to guarantee the quality of the jewellery we buy. If hallmarking is scrapped, it will be left wide open to unscrupulous sellers trying to pass jewellery off as something it’s not. It may ruin the jewellery industry, as I, and i’m sure many others, wouldn’t buy anything I wasn’t sure of. Why change something that works?

  31. Una May 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm -  Reply

    Absolutely, definately not. I only buy jewellery in UK, for the simple reason that I know what Im spending my hard earned cash on.
    There are so many people taking advantage with loads of scams absolutely everywhere, this would only make it easier for these disgusting people.

  32. shirley clegg May 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm -  Reply

    NO with hallmarking you know what you are getting.

  33. Nancy Brant May 24, 2011 at 12:28 pm -  Reply

    In today’s world it is a comfort to know that a hallmark is a guarantee of a genuine article. We encounter so many scams in our everyday lives that we need to be able to have confidence guaranteed in precious metals and gemstones. 700 years of protection is not to be taken lightly. BAD IDEA!!!

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