Protecting the Consumer and Servicing
the Trade with Independence and Integrity

UK consumers are by far the most active online spenders, with the UK taking 42 per cent of online Christmas spending, compared to 31 per cent in Europe. However, consumers need to be mindful when shopping for their costume jewellery from online retailers outside of the EU, as recent research conducted by The Danish Consumer Council, THINK, revealed that several online platforms were selling costume jewellery containing harmful chemicals. One bracelet that was tested contained 38 per cent cadmium. This is almost 4000 times more cadmium than allowed. Over time, cadmium accumulates in the body and can damage the kidneys and bones.

The research also showed that 7 out of 17 items tested did not live up to the legal requirements and contained too much nickel. Approximately 20% of the population suffer from Allergic Contact Dermatitis and avoid encountering items such as jewellery, watches and even belt buckles. A nickel allergy can present itself in several ways including dry skin, rashes, lumps, and fluid-filled blisters. Reactions can be extremely painful and last for several weeks.

This research follows The British Hallmarking Council’s report that a third of “gold” jewellery being sold online is suspected to be un-hallmarked and may, therefore, be fake.

Birmingham Assay Office, regulated by The British Hallmarking Council, have been protecting the consumer since 1773. Their Research and Development team, have developed a ground-breaking, unique product testing method, called AnchorCert Protect. The test helps manufacturers identify 16 metallic elements, including nickel, lead, and cadmium, that are most likely to cause harm to humans. Once these elements have been identified, the manufacturing process can be managed to ensure that the levels of materials used are carefully measured so as not to cause an allergic reaction.

Doug Henry, CEO and Assay Master, said: “AnchorCert Protect tested products are already available on the high street and via online channels.  This means that any item that has passed the AnchorCert Protect test is highly unlikely to cause an allergic reaction leaving consumers safe in the knowledge they can wear products with confidence.  All you need to do is look for the AnchorCert Protect seal of approval.”

To find out more about AnchorCert Protect, or to find out where you can purchase AnchorCert Protect tested products, visit



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