Jewellery Trade Industry in UK
The UK Jewellery trade industry has seen drastic changes in last 25-30 years. Earlier the industry was in hands of jewellers, they were craftsman too, taking care of manufacturing and retailing both. These days a jeweller is normally only a retailer of manufactured goods. The large jewellery chain stores who used to be pioneers in manufacture and retailing, now mainly concentrate on retailing. The few independent craftsmen jewellers with their own workshop are doing primarily repair and renovation, rather than doing creative work.
Current Jewellery Trade Scenario
Today, the jewellery manufacturing is in hands of selected labelled designers or industries. They are manufacturing almost every kind of jewellery items, and selling to customers through their jewellery stores chain or franchisees.
Although the current generation of jewellers need not be craftsman, but they require a high degree of product knowledge including both materials and merchandise. They must also be proverbial with existing legislation as it affects hallmarking and description of goods. A good working knowledge of all aspects of gemstones, precious metals, jewellery design, manufacturing processes, and horology is required, pooled with the ability to appreciate beauty and value of merchandise. The retailer will also need to possess some basic knowledge of antique gold and silver merchandise.
Buyers today look for brands; they want jewellery of exclusive designs, manufactured by prestigious companies, and that too with different kind of assurance of purity and perfection. This particular need is making use of hallmarking process popular day by day.
In order to control a budding problem of fraudulent tarnishing of gold and silver, which the Goldsmiths Guild was powerless to control successfully, Henry II introduced the assaying and hallmarking of gold and silver in 1236.
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