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The so-called Blue Book is the first globally recognised reference standard covering precious metal alloys, finenesses, weights, colours, tolerances, solders, coatings/platings and marking.

Designed to help traders in countries without established hallmarking systems, it is not clear exactly how effective it will be as there is no obligation to meet the standards set out in the code. But the confederation executive hope it will promote transparency in trading precious metal articles.

The standard set in the Blue Book is higher than that required by national law in many of the 18 states who are signatories to the International Convention, but national legislation takes precedence.

The confederation adopted the standard when it was presented by the Precious Metal Commission at the CIBJO Annual Congress 2008 in Dubai. It joins their existing Blue Books for gemstones, diamonds and pearls.

The Blue Book will be available for download from the confederation’s website – www.cibjo.org – from the end of April.