Standards Australia launches Millesimal System

Standards Australia has introduced two new standards for gold, silver, rolled gold and plated jewellery in Australia.

Jewellery making a ring with gemstone in workshop

Developed to stamp out consumer confusion around claims and jewellery markings, the new Standards will provide Australian jewellers, traders and consumers with a uniform guide to composition and marking requirements for jewellery made from precious metals, rolled gold, gold-plating and silver-plating.

Standards Australia CEO John Tucker said the introduction of the Standards will provide a level playing field for traders and consumers.

“By establishing an agreed set of symbols and markings to be used to describe the composition of jewellery articles, consumers will have a better understanding of the true value and quality of the jewellery they purchase,” he said.

“Standards Australia has worked with representatives from throughout the jewellery industry to settle on an approved marking system which aims to clear up confusion and protect the credibility of Australia’s thriving jewellery trade.

“Buying a piece of jewellery is often a significant investment with sentimental value. We will be encouraging consumers to look for the symbols and markings described in the new Australian Standards when making purchase decisions.”

AS 2140 specifies the composition and marking requirements of jewellery articles made from precious metals including gold, silver, platinum and palladium as well as jewellery items made from mixed metals.

It establishes a consistent system of symbols to enable traders and consumers to recognise and understand the precious metal composition of articles.

Under the Standard, articles must be clearly stamped or engraved with the appropriate precious metal symbol and the minimum precious metal fineness using the millesimal system rather than the carat system.

Similarly, AS 2335 requirements for rolled gold and plated jewellery defines composition and marking requirements for rolled gold, gold-plated and silver-plated jewellery articles including watch cases and watch bands.

To avoid inaccurate marking of plated articles, AS 2335 makes use of a system of words and simple abbreviations (such as ‘gold-plated’ or ‘GP’) to describe the composition of articles.

Both Standards were developed in consultation with key industry stakeholders, including the Australian Jewellery and Gemstone Industry Council which contributed $80,000 to the development of the project.