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Birmingham Seminar to Focus on Security, Hallmarking

Apr 2, 2012 1:36 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... A joint initiative between the British Jewellers’ Association (BJA) and the Birmingham Assay Office will highlight issues facing the local Asian jewelry community. With the help of West Midlands police and local media, work is underway to present a seminar on April 30 in Birmingham, U.K., to discussion issues of security, hallmarking and trading in second-hand jewelry.

“The escalating price of gold has unfortunately led to an increasing rate of crime against the Asian community,” said Simon Rainer, the chief executive of the BJA. “The seminar will highlight the precautions that Asian jewelry retailers need to take to lower the risk of crime against them and their property. It will also alert them to the various tactics that the criminal fraternity are now employing to gain illegal access to trading premises.”

Since 22-karat gold is the common trade across the Asian community, customers are also vulnerable to being cheated if the jewelry is not of the stated fineness. If it has not been assayed and hallmarked,  a legal requirement to protect both the consumer and the trade in the U.K., they have no way of telling what percentage of gold it contains.

Michael Allchin, the chief executive and assay master at The Birmingham Assay Office, noted, “Most recently an operation conducted by Birmingham Trading Standards netted a GBP50,000 haul of unmarked jewelry from 21 retailers over the West Midlands.

“We are using the seminar as a great opportunity to explain the importance of hallmarking and how Birmingham Assay Office can work with local traders to ensure they stay the right side of the law,” he added.

The seminar will also be the platform for the official launch of “The Gold Standard,” which is a joint collaboration between Surrey police, BJA, NAG and NPA to provide a voluntary and uniform code on how to buy second-hand jewelry over the counter.

Tickets for the seminar, which will be held at the Jewellery Quarter Conference Centre, are available by calling Holly Burnett on 0121.237.1144 or registering online at

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Tags: assay, birmingham, gold, hallmarking, Jeff Miller, Jewelry, office, u.k.
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