Michael Allchin, CEO & Assay Master of The Birmingham Assay Office has been busy in his role as President of the CIBJO (International Jewellery Confederation) Precious Metals Commission following on from the approval of the CIBJO Precious Metals Blue Book – a definitive international standard for precious metals – which was given in April 2008.
In August 2008 The FTC in the United States proposed a revised definition of the use of the term ‘platinum’ on the US market. The Precious Metals Commission advised CIBJO President Dr Cavalieri to object to the guidelines they proposed and to recommend to the FTC that the term ‘platinum’ should only be allowed to be used to describe precious metal alloys that contain a minimum of 850 parts per thousand by weight of platinum itself. This is in line with ISO standards and the CIBJO Blue Book. The outcome of the FTC’s deliberations is awaited.
On 1st September 2008, Michael Allchin, in his capacity as President of the CIBJO Precious Metals Commission, presented a seminar at the IJL International Jewellery Show, London, on the Precious Metals Blue Book. The seminar was well attended by an international audience and helped add credibility to CIBJO and the whole family of CIBJO Blue Books.
In October 2008 Michael Allchin delivered a presentation on the CIBJO Precious Metals Blue Book to the nineteen members of the International Convention on Hallmarking at their meeting in Kiev, Ukraine. The Blue Book was well received by the Convention, especially as the technical standards of the CIBJO Blue Book and the Convention are closely aligned. Michael Allchin sought ways in which to work with the Convention, in order to keep the CIBJO standards in the Blue Book running in parallel with Convention standards. This will be achieved by having an open dialogue with the Standing Technical Committee of the Convention, so that both CIBJO and Convention technical standards for precious metals are consistent with one another.
When the Precious Metals Blue Book was approved at the CIBJO Congress in Dubai, Michael Allchin as the President of the Commission was asked to investigate precious metal platings as the next priority. So behind the scenes a lot of work has been done, culminating in the first draft of a new paper being sent to the Precious Metals Working Group in December 2008. The new paper, headed ‘Requirements regarding surface coatings and recommended changes’ was written by Dippal Manchanda, Chief Assayer and Technical Director of The Birmingham Assay Office in England. The paper has been well received by the Working Group and comments are still being received. The plan is to have a final draft of the document ready to be presented at the next CIBJO Congress in Istanbul in May 2009, with a view for final approval so that it can be incorporated into the Blue Book thereafter.