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New members being sought for the British Hallmarking Council The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills is seeking to appoint four new members to the British Hallmarking Council to contribute to its important role in regulating the UK jewellery industry. Applications are open to anyone who feels they have the relevant skills and experience to assist the BHC, and they do not have to come from the jewellery industry. The British Hallmarking Council (BHC) was established by the Hallmarking Act 1973, to protect consumer interests in the UK jewellery market by ensuring that there are adequate facilities for hallmarking in the United Kingdom. It is also responsible for advising the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on hallmarking matters and hallmarking legislation. The BHC is funded by the four UK Assay Offices, Hallmarking has been an established practice in the UK since the 13th century and the independent third-party system is one of the most rigorous in the world. Hallmarks guarantee the precious metal content of articles. It is illegal for traders to sell a precious metal article or describe it as such unless it complies with the Hallmarking Act. Hallmarking is particularly important at present. Over 80% of the jewellery sold in the UK is made elsewhere, a trend which has required massive investment and change of practice from the Assay Offices to respond to the changing needs of the market. Soaring precious metal prices are driving the resale of scrap gold and the introduction of mixed-metal products, such as bonded gold and mixed-precious and base-metal items, which may not always be what they seem. The BHC also has continually to consider the impact and possible unintended consequences of EU legislation and harmonisation and seek revisions to the UK Hallmarking Act to ensure it remains relevant and appropriate for today’s needs. The Secretary of State is seeking applications for four members to serve for a term of three years, starting from 1 January 2013. There are two vacancies for members with experience in the precious metal trade or manufacturing, either from the bespoke or mass produced jewellery market or from retailing, and two for persons either with consumer expertise, or independents with relevant experience. The closing date for applications is Monday 25 June 2012. BHC members come from a variety of backgrounds, with a range of experience, for example as an economic adviser in a service-based organisation; having had responsibility for quality in a customer-focused organisation delivering services; having been a member of a board or committee with high-level policy responsibility; having helped to resolve complex and challenging issues, balancing conflicting interests and making impartial judgments. The appointments are not remunerated, but members are reimbursed for travel, subsistence and other reasonable expenses. They enjoy the satisfaction which arises from the contribution which the BHC makes to the regulation of hallmarking in the UK. The BHC normally meets two or three times a year in one of the Assay Offices in London, Birmingham, Sheffield or Edinburgh Further details and an information pack (including a person specification and how to apply) can be downloaded from the BHC website at: or email Alternatively, please telephone +44 (0)20 8943 7218 (during office hours) before 22 June 2012. Applications should arrive not later than 25 June 2012.



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