UK survey: One-third of online gold jewellery sold suspected of fraud

A survey by the British Gold and Silver Products Purity Inspection Commission (BHC) found that one-third of gold jewellery sold online was suspected of fraud. According to the report, the British Gold and Silver Products Purity Inspection Commission conducted a 10-day survey of 17,657 pieces of gold jewelry sold online, and found that 6,377 pieces (36 per cent of the total) were not marked with a purity mark, of which 4,278 were suspected of being fake and 56 per cent were from eBay.


It is understood that any product sold in the UK made of precious metals, such as silver, gold and platinum, and exceeding a certain weight, must be marked with a purity mark. The rule is designed to protect consumers and retail jewelers, but it does not apply to online retailers, meaning consumers can be “spoofed.”

The head of the UK’s Gold and Silver Purity Inspection Commission says this is just the tip of the iceberg, but the internet giants are not interested in strengthening enforcement or adequately protecting consumers, and are clearly not doing enough.

About 150,000 pieces of gold jewellery sold online in the UK each year are fake, according to the survey. The head of the BHC has warned that consumers should ask online sellers if they have a purity mark before buying a product to avoid buying fakes.

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