Is platinum outperforming gold as far as hallmarking is concerned in the United Kingdom? It looks so. Recent data shows that demand for platinum hallmarking is surging while the same for gold is coming down.
According to the Birmingham Assay Office, 22,848 items received a platinum hallmark during May, representing a year-on-year increase of 12 per cent.
In fact, platinum hallmarking is on a record surge in the UK as no other metal including gold is in demand as platinum.
Michael Allchin, Chief Executive and Assay Master at the office, suggested that the figures for palladium are encouraging, considering it only recently received precious metal status in the UK.
Overall hallmarking increased by 1.4 per cent, with silver further contributing to the strong showing among white metals by posting a 9.4 per cent rise to 657,040 items.
However, gold saw a decline of 11.8 per cent to 404,091 items, while nine-carat gold was the worst-performing category, registering a decrease of 16.4 per cent.
This is a continuation of the trend we have been seeing now for several years with gold continuing to struggle, particularly nine-carat gold, Mr Allchin told Professional Jeweller web site.
Hallmarking of gold by the four UK Assay Offices was down 11.8 percent to 404,091 items, with 9ct gold hit the hardest at 16.4 percent.
The year-on-year drop in May of gold items hallmarked was attributed to a continuing rise in gold price.
Birmingham Assay Office said: This is a continuation of the trend we have been seeing now for several years with gold continuing to struggle, particularly 9 carat gold. We are not seeing any growth, just continued month on month decline. I don't think this is going to change soon, as long as prices remain so high.
Hallmarking overall rose for the month by 1.4 percent, with white metals continuing their upwards trend. Silver showed a 9.4 percent growth in items hallmarked to 657,040, but platinum showed the biggest rise at 12 percent to 22,848.
Introduced as a precious metal this year, palladium proved popular with 10,000 items hallmarked in May, though it was down on the 11,000 April figure.
Ten thousand units in a month is very encouraging for a brand new metal though, said Allchin.