Gold warning to Asian consumers

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Trading standards urges Asian community to be cautious

ASIAN communities in Birmingham are being urged to be cautious about the quality of gold jewellery they are buying.

The warning comes from Trading Standards at Birmingham City Council who said they had visited a number of gold sellers in the city amidst growing concern over the failure of a number of jewellers to properly hallmark their gold.

Jewellery that originates from the Asian sub-continent is not initially subject to the same hallmarking system as in Britain, but once the item is put on sale in this country, it becomes subject to the same regulations.

Trading Standards say without a hallmark, customers have no real way of knowing the precious metal content of the item.

During visits to a number of jewellers in the city, officials said they came across a number of items which were illegally being sold without a hallmark, as well as items that had been marketed with the incorrect carat value.

The warning has particular significance to the Asian community during wedding season.

Chris Neville, Head of Trading Standards at Birmingham City Council, said: “We are keen to protect the interests of Asian consumers, and since we started visiting jewellers to remind them of their obligations, I am pleased to report that there has been a rise in traders visiting Birmingham’s Assay Office to get their items properly hallmarked. People should refuse to buy items that are not hallmarked, as the seller is acting illegally and the hallmark is really the only assurance they have that the item is of the correct value and quality.”

If people have any concerns about a gold item that they have purchased, they can contact Trading Standards on 0121 303 6031.

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