Touchstone Award

Call for Applications


Call for Applications






The British Hallmarking Council


Call for Applications: BHC Touchstone Award

National Association of Jewellers and British Hallmarking Council announce new collaboration for 2019

The National Association of Jewellers (NAJ) and British Hallmarking Council (BHC) are pleased to announce a new collaboration as the NAJ joins the four UK Assay Offices in supporting the prestigious BHC Touchstone Award. The award is presented annually to the Trading Standards teams who have delivered the most effective initiative relating to either the enforcement or awareness of hallmarking.

In this era of high precious metal prices enforcement of hallmarking is extremely important. There is robust, long established hallmarking legislation in place in the UK but without awareness and proactive inspections it will not protect the consumer and the trade adequately. The opportunities for fraud and criminal activity are high. Online sales are particularly difficult to monitor and can sometimes facilitate items being wrongly described, resulting in the customer being significantly cheated. This is very damaging to NAJ members who are competing honestly in the same market.  Incentivising and rewarding Trading Standards teams for enforcement activity will help to protect the trade and consumers from rogue traders who exploit consumers and bring the jewellery industry into disrepute.

Simon Forrester, Chief Executive at the National Association of Jewellers said

“We are very pleased to support the Touchstone Award.  Consumers must be protected from unscrupulous operators, which is why the NAJ is working closely with the BHC and Trading Standards.  The National Association of Jewellers is the Primary Authority for UK jewellery sales, maintaining confidence in jewellery bought via NAJ Members. We will continue to champion consumers’ rights alongside our colleagues in the British Hallmarking Council and Local Authority Trading Standards enforcement.”

A recent prosecution driven by the NAJ is a perfect example. A Mansfield woman was extorting money from the public by passing off CZ-set silver and base metal rings as platinum and diamonds. One extraordinary example was a ring purporting to be a 1.5ct H VS1 diamond set in platinum which was selling for £150. Due to lack of consumer awareness these items were being purchased in good faith. A combined effort by the NAJ, valuer Graham Price who is a member of the NAJ’s Institute of Registered Valuers, and Sheffield Assay Office brought the criminal to justice. Over 700 sales had been made on eBay with an estimated value of a quarter of a million pounds. 

Noel Hunter OBE, BHC Chair, said:

“We are delighted that the NAJ are working with the BHC and supporting the Touchstone Award. The British Hallmarking Council is committed to working with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, and other authorities to enforce our important legislation. Hallmarking is an important control which protects NAJ members and helps to maintain trust in the UK jewellery trade. The recent prosecution demonstrates the need for co-operation and we look forward to a successful and productive collaboration."

For More Information

How to Enter

Application Deadline

You must submit your application by 26 April 2019.