In an effort to highlight the issues in the Asian jewellery community, a very successful evening seminar was recently held at the BJA conference centre in Birmingham. As a joint collaboration between the British Jewellers’ Association, Birmingham Assay Office, Birmingham City Council, and West Midlands Police, the seminar highlighted the issues relating to security, hallmarking and trading in second hand jewellery over the counter.
Filled nearly to capacity, the seminar was attended by the local Asian jewellery community and representatives from national police forces.
“We were all extremely pleased by the high turnout and very positive feedback we received,” said Simon Rainer, Chief Executive of the BJA. “Already we are receiving interest from other areas of the UK to hold similar seminars” he added.
The issues relating to the Asian jewellery community have been compounded by the increasing price of gold, a rise in the number of trading standards offences and attacks against property and the person.
Michael Allchin, Assay Master of the Birmingham Assay Office, highlighted the legal requirements for the correct hallmarking of gold jewellery, in particular the issues relating to 22-carat gold: “Recent Trading Standards initiatives have exposed an element of rogue traders who are selling jewellery that is not hallmarked and is not always 22ct gold. It’s important for the bona fide traders and their customers to ensure their jewellery is hallmarked, which will in turn drive out the businesses which are not playing by the rules” he said.
The seminar also included a session from West Midlands police identifying useful sources of information to improve security and from the BJA to launch the Gold Standard – a new industry-wide initiative to set common standards in the responsible purchasing of second hand gold over the counter.
As a joint collaboration between the BJA, NAG, NPA and Surrey Police, the Gold Standard is primarily aimed at helping police track and recover stolen jewellery. “The seminar gave us a great opportunity to explain how the jewellery trade can use a common code of conduct to professionally trade in second hand jewellery and reducing the risk of facing prosecution for handling stolen goods” said Simon Rainer. “It will also provide consumers with the added incentive to sell their jewellery in confidence with outlets displaying the Gold Standard mark” he added.
The BJA represents nearly 1100 UK companies in the jewellery supply chain. The Birmingham Assay Office is now the largest Assay Office in the world.