The British Hallmarking Council (BHC) and National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) are calling for any final entries to the inaugural HALO Award. Applications close on 16th September and will be assessed by a prestigious line up of judges in October.
The current relevance and importance of promoting hallmarking is reflected in the broad spectrum of professionals who have agreed to consider the applications and select the worthy winner of the HALO Award in 2022.
The judging panel is composed of experts involved with Hallmarking from a variety of disciplines. Graeme Smith, the Queen’s Assay Master, is responsible for ensuring assaying and hallmarking are carried out consistently across the four Assay Offices, within the requirements of the Hallmarking Act. Joanna Hardy, Trade Warden for the Goldsmiths’ Company Court of Wardens, is a well-known jewellery expert, who regularly appears on the Antiques Road Show and shares her wide experience via her online jewellery academy. Ken Daly, National Coordinator for the Scottish Trading Standards Service and Rachael Taylor, a highly respected jewellery journalist, observe hallmarking awareness and promotion from a different angle. Long serving Sheffield Assay Master Ashley Carson brings the views of an Assay Office to the table. The panel is completed by Heather Callaway, Registered Valuer, and current Chair of the National Association of Jewellers.
Graeme Smith says of the judging process; “I am looking forward to seeing the entries and visiting the entrants’ websites to see how creative and innovative they have been in delivering a simple, informative message about hallmarking. Our rigorous independent UK system is nearly 700 years old, and it is easy to take it for granted and overlook its benefits. The HALO initiative seeks to remind jewellers that in a global online market, where an independent hallmark is unusual and value is confused by branding, the reassurance of a UK hallmark is more important than ever.
“The system is intended to protect both the Trade and the Consumer, but its effectiveness relies upon the consumer knowing they need to check if an item is hallmarked. They will only do that if the trade educates them that it should be there.”
Judges will be looking for easy to find, simple information about hallmarks at the relevant point of an online sale. This will vary significantly as what may be appropriate for the extensive site of a multiple retailer could be very different from that of a designer maker. In this inaugural year there are no separate categories for entries and all fine jewellers are invited to enter, regardless of whether they are members of the NAJ.
The HALO Award winner will be announced at the Benevolent Society Ball in December. The winner will be the holder of a prestigious silver salver for the year and will also benefit from PR directed at both Trade and Consumer Press. The biggest, long-term benefit will be that their customers can buy confidently, reassured that precious metal items are what they purport to be because they are hallmarked.