Legislation.

The Charter, various acts of parliament e.g. 1981 Hallmarking Act and statutory instruments the latest Hallmarking Regulations came into effect on 1 July 2012.

In Ireland all items of gold, silver and platinum are subject to compulsory assay and hallmarking.

The Statutory Instrument S.I.No. 143 of 2012

Consumer Protection (consumer information) (articles of precious metals) Regulations 2012 is available here. A trader who supplies an article of precious metal to the public must exhibit a notice in the form set out in S.I.No.143 of 2012.

In Ireland all items of gold, silver and platinum are subject to compulsory assay and hallmarking. They must bear an Irish hallmark or an International Convention hallmark or an approved hallmark in order that they can be legally offered for sale. All standards of fineness are minimum standards with no minus tolerance.

The standards

Gold: 375, 417, 585, 750, 833, 916, 990 & 999
Silver: 800, 925, 958.4 & 999
Platinum: 850, 900, 950 & 999

Failure to comply with S.I.No.143 of 2012 may result in fines and or imprisonment as set out in section 79 of the Consumer Protection Act 2007 and is available for download here. The Traders Notice must be displayed on not less than A4 size paper.

Changes to Irish Hallmarking Legislation

In effect from 1st October 2002. In the absence of EU legislation on precious metals (Directive) the European Commission has brought pressure to bear on Member States to amend their National Legislation. The following changes have been made:

  1. There will be an additional seven new standards which will be added to the existing Irish standards of fineness. These will represent the most commonly used standards in the EU. Gold – An additional two standards, 990 and 999 Silver – An additional two standards, 800 and 999 Platinum –An additional three standards, 850, 900 and 999.
  2. There will be only one Assay Office Mark, “Hibernia”. The imported mark (Boujet) will be terminated. All goods, whether imported or Irish manufactured receive the same mark.
  3. All fineness marks will be in numerals e.g. the harp crowned will no longer be the fineness mark for sterling silver. This will be replaced by the numerals 925 in an oval surround.
  4. The date letter will be an optional mark.
  5. The Irish hallmark will comprise of a minimum of three compulsory symbols:
    a. Maker’s or Sponsor’s Mark.
    b. Assay Office Mark (Hibernia).
    c. Metal & Fineness (Purity) Mark.
  6. All items of precious metal jewellery (Gold, Silver and Platinum) are subject to compulsory Assay and Hallmarking – there are NO EXEMPTIONS BY WEIGHT.
  7. Traditional hallmarks may be used by the Assay Office in addition to the minimum requirements set out in number 5 above (by prior consultation providing it is practical and feasible). There will be an extra charge for this service.

Additional information

If you would like to learn more about hallmark legislation or require additional information on any of the services provided by the Dublin Assay Office please don't hesitate to get in touch.

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