Assaying of gold, silver, and platinum objects

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Do you sell gold, silver, or platinum objects? These objects need to have a hallmark, if they are above a certain weight. A recognised assay office can assay and hallmark your objects.

When is a hallmark required?

A hallmark states which precious metal the object is made of and how much of this precious metal it contains. In the Netherlands, a hallmark is required for:

  • gold objects of 1 gram and more
  • silver objects of 8 grams and more
  • platinum objects of 0.5 grams and more

Assay offices inspect the gold, silver, or platinum content of these objects. Upon approval, they issue a hallmark. If the objects do not (yet) have a hallmark, you may have them in your possession for a maximum of 4 weeks. You cannot show them to your customers and you cannot offer to sell these objects.

The hallmark looks different depending on which precious metal the object is made of. You can find a chart of the marks (in Dutch) on the Dutch Authority for Digital Infrastructure (Rijksinspectie Digitale Infrastructuur) website. This chart must be visible in your store.

When is a hallmark not required?

In some cases a precious metal object does not need to have a hallmark. For instance (in Dutch), gold or silver coins that are not sold as jewellery. Or objects that have medical or technical purposes.

Objects from foreign countries

Do you sell precious metal objects from a foreign country? These objects must have a foreign hallmark that is recognised in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands has signed the International Convention on Hallmarks. This means that Dutch assay offices can apply the convention's Common Control Mark, which will then be recognised by all contracting states. Conversely, convention hallmarks applied by other contracting states are recognised in the Netherlands.

Please note: The technical requirements imposed by the Netherlands in respect of precious metals differ from those of other EU Member States. If a gold, silver, or platinum object is already allowed in another EU Member State, the Dutch government may ban its sale in the Netherlands only in exceptional cases.

Assaying precious metal objects

You can have silver, gold and platinum assayed at 2 assay offices in the Netherlands. The assay office determines how much precious metal is in your object. After approval, they put a hallmark on the object.

Calling objects gold, silver, or platinum

You cannot sell objects that are not made of precious metal as gold, silver, or platinum. This also applies to objects that only have a layer of precious metal. You may say that the object is gold, silver, or platinum coloured, gold-plated or silver-plated. You must put these items in a different place in your shop than items that are made of precious metal.

This article is related to: