Protecting the Consumer and Servicing
the Trade with Independence and Integrity

Bonded Gold




The Hallmarking Act 1973 confers a duty on the British Hallmarking Council to take all steps appearing to be open to it for ensuring enforcement of the law with respect to hallmarking (s13(1)) and to assist enforcement authorities accordingly (s13(2)). The guidance set out below is issued in the exercise of these functions.

On 24th October 2011, Southampton Trading Standards contacted the British Hallmarking Council for advice in relation to products being sold in the UK using the term ‘bonded gold’. The Trading Standards Office was also concerned about the marking of some of the product with the inscription 925 1/20 10K which they thought was potentially misleading to the UK consumer and also because 10K (carat) was not an accepted fineness in the UK. This matter was discussed at the British Hallmarking Council meeting on Monday 2nd April 2012, the first held since the query from Southampton Trading Standards. The British Hallmarking Council is made up of current and former Trading Standards officers, lawyers, trade members, lay members and members appointed by the four Assay Offices. All meetings are also attended by the four Assay Masters and by representatives of the National Measurement Office, which is the sponsoring body of the British Hallmarking Council and is an executive agency for the Department of Business Innovation and Skills, the Government Ministry responsible for hallmarking legislation.

bonded gold


 At its meeting on 2 April 2012, the British Hallmarking Council concluded as follows:

 1. Description 

 2. Hallmarking 

 ‘Bonded gold’ on a base metal core cannot be hallmarked.

2.2  ‘Bonded Gold’ on a silver core.

 ‘Bonded gold’ on a silver core can be hallmarked with a full silver hallmark only, the same as for a ‘gold plated’ silver article (silver gilt) or a ‘rolled gold’ silver article. NB Gold plated silver articles, rolled gold silver articles and bonded gold silver articles are not covered by the ‘mixed metal’ amendment to the Hallmarking Act (2007). 

3. Other Marks 

4. Underweight articles 

Geraldine Swanton Secretary
The British Hallmarking Council April 2012


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