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Trading Standards found that 19 items of jewellery were of a lower carat weight than what they were advertised as.

Trading Standards officers in Birmingham have seized more than £50,000 worth of jewellery in a “crackdown” on the city.

A total of 104 items were removed from 21 jewellery retailers and stores in the Washwood Heath, Bordesley Green and Handsworth areas of Birmingham.

Of the items, 12 had not been hallmarked and 19 items were of a lower carat weight than they were being sold as. Others were marked with counterfeit branding such as BMW and Nike.

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Vir Ahluwalia, Birmingham Trading Standards operations manager said: “Hallmarking is one of the oldest forms of consumer protection.

“Jewellers selling unhallmarked items place consumers at risk by not giving them an absolute guarantee that their purchase is what it claims to be.”

Ahluwalia also highlighted the “unfair financial advantage” that dishonest retailers had over businesses which comply with the law and have their items hallmarked.

The retailers from which goods were seized now face legal action, while Trading Standards will be contacting jewellers in Birmingham to warn them to comply with the law.

The crackdown is said to be the result of Birmingham Assay Office being saved from closure last year, which could have caused 120 job losses.

Hallmarking has been carried out for 700 years in the UK.

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