2012 is the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and the occasion represents a welcome opportunity for the UK jewellery and giftware industry.
The Queen is only the second British Monarch to serve for 60 years and major celebrations are anticipated.
A special commemorative hallmark has been approved, which will be an optional mark available from all 4 UK assay offices in combination with a statutory hallmark. The chosen mark depicts a young Queen Elizabeth wearing an oversized crown in a diamond-shaped surround.
The mark can be struck on gold, silver, platinum or palladium from 1 July 2011 until 1 October 2012. It will not be officially launched until July 2011, but trade visitors to the Birmingham Assay Office stand at the Jewellery Show will be able to get their first glimpse of the design. Particularly suitable for silverware and large pieces of jewellery, the mark is expected to inspire a range of commemorative items in precious metal.