Assay office warns on hallmarks following case

JEWELLERY traders have been advised to ensure all items comply with the Hallmarking Act after a Yorkshire jewellers stock was found to not be hallmarked.

Mukhtar Ahmed, owner of Mangla Jewellers in Bradford, was ordered to pay more than £1,700 in fines and costs by Bradford Magistrates court after pleading guilty to eleven offences under the 1973 Act.

The Sheffield Assay Office, along with the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, carried out inspections at high street jewellers across Bradford throughout 2009 and 2010 to assess the level of compliance with the Hallmarking Act.

Mr Ahmed’s store was inspected on four occasions, with unhallmarked items being found each time. He was advised on every occasion that all items must be hallmarked before being displayed for sale, but in February 2011 an undercover officer was able to purchase a gold ring which had not been marked.

Trading Standards then carried out a full inspection of the jewellers in March, where it was found that nine of every 10 items put on display were found to be unmarked.

Sheffield Assay Master Ashley Carson, who was present at the trial, said: “It is vital for the integrity of the entire industry that every single item put up for sale by a jeweller is hallmarked by their Assay Office.

“Our hallmarking system in the UK is the envy of many other nations, and provides customers with the knowledge that the item they are buying is genuine.

“We hope that this case acts as a warning to others, and ensures that any other traders will not take the same risks and make the same mistakes in the future.”

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