The quarter began positively with volumes of articles hallmarked by the four UK Assay Offices showing a 7% increase on April 2009. However, the economic uncertainty and general nervousness following the General Election in early May has impacted on previous metal prices and consumer confidence and in May, the increase was down to 1.4%. This was compounded in June by the distractions of the World Cup and summer weather impacting on retail footfall, resulting in hallmarking volumes falling 17% against 2009.
With gold at an average of £835 per oz during June it is not surprising that silver articles hallmarked vastly exceeded gold, with 1.9m silver pieces (+5.3%) hallmarked versus 1.2m gold (-19%). Overall total volumes for the quarter were 4.5% on 2009 at 3,218,274 articles, including 36,486 pieces of palladium which continues to gain popularity.
(Courtesy ‘The Anchor’)