Judges impressed with the high standard of applications for the inaugural HALO Award

A prestigious panel of judges has considered and discussed the entries for the first ever HALO Award which recognises effective promotion of Hallmarking Awareness and Learning Online.
The panel was very impressed with the high standard of applications originating from a wide range of industry members, from sole online traders, through specialist antique jewellers to businesses with multiple High Street stores and strong online sales.

Chair of the Judging panel, Freelance Jewellery Journalist Rachael Taylor said, “The HALO competition has been a great way to celebrate the good work that many jewellers are doing digitally to not only promote their own use of hallmarks, but also to educate their audiences about the fundamentals of hallmarking and why it is such an important pillar of consumer confidence.”
Within the jewellery industry, many might consider hallmarking to be simply par for the course in retailing, but it is important to remember that for the majority of consumers – particularly the next generation of shoppers – it remains something that needs to be explained and championed.

It was fantastic to see our entrants using so many approaches to ensure this is done in a consumer-friendly way, from informative videos to TikTok posts and customer competitions.
What we were looking for in our winner was a store offering clear and transparent messaging that puts hallmarking upfront in the sales process, as well as investing in creating engaging content designed to educate. We certainly found that in our winner and our highly commended runners up.

I do hope that their shining examples will inspire other jewellers to follow suit and make hallmarking not just a legal tick box at the bottom of a homepage, but a fun, informative part of the online sales process that adds value to their craftsmanship and design.”

The response to the Award has been excellent. Research shows that awareness of hallmarks is much stronger in those aged over 55 than in younger age groups, so education via media appealing to all age groups is important. Examples of the proactive use of social media as well as online retail sites are therefore particularly encouraging.

Education via platforms such as Instagram and TikTok is extremely valuable, and some applicants demonstrated strong engagement via these channels as well as clear information at the point of online sale.

Panel member, Ashley Carson, Assay Master of Sheffield Assay Office, feels the HALO initiative has already produced positive results although there is still much more that can be done. “I am so pleased to see the efforts that some applicants have made to promote the importance of the hallmark in an appealing and informative way,” he commented.

“This Award has definitely prompted businesses to take a fresh look at their online hallmarking information. The new Digital Dealers Notice (notice B) and the video which the British Hallmarking Council produced in 2021 provide a clear explanation but can only deliver general information. Individual jewellers have huge scope to make the hallmark part of their brand story and emphasise the reassurance that these symbols offer. The Platinum Jubilee hallmark commemorating Her Majesty the Queen’s remarkable 70 years of service has proved popular and adds a relevant new topic to hallmarking. Since her very sad death this mark has become even more meaningful.”

The HALO Award was launched to ensure the hallmark continues to protect the trade and the consumer by promoting awareness and understanding across all demographics.
The applications for the Award have demonstrated that it is also a selling point which can be used very effectively to add to brand values, tell a story and gain consumer confidence.
The judges had a very difficult task in selecting a winner due to the quality and variety of applications and the different approaches which they detailed. The panel expressed gratitude and congratulations to all those who had made the extra effort and submitted an entry.

The Winner of the first ever HALO Award will be announced, and the Award presented, at the Benevolent Society Christmas Ball in December.

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