Articles of precious metals, jewellery and watches

What are articles of precious metals?

An article of precious metal is made of precious metal subject to hallmarking, that are as follows:

  • gold
  • silver
  • platinum
  • palladium.

Products like jewellery, silverware, cutlery and watches are considered articles of precious metals if they contain precious metal subject to hallmarking. Products made of the metals mentioned above are considered articles of precious metals. Examples of such products include jewellery, silverware, cutlery and watches.

What products can be marketed as articles of precious metals (gold, silver, platinum or palladium)?

Minimum fineness levels

Precious metals are alloyed with other metals in order to lend the alloy a desired colour, to enhance its ability to be worked on and to provide lower material costs. In order to be able to market a product as an article of precious metal, its fineness must be, at a minimum of

  • gold 375
  • silver 800
  • platinum 850 and
  • palladium 500 parts per thousand for each precious metal by mass.

If the product's fineness is below the fineness levels specified above, it must not be marketed as an article of precious metal and it must not bear any marks intended for articles of precious metals. 

Coated products

In order for a product to be called an article of precious metal (gold, silver, platinum or palladium), it must also consist of a precious metal below the surface. Articles made of non-precious metals but coated with precious metals, such as gold-plated chains or silver-plated spoons, are not considered to be articles of precious metal. Furthermore, metal parts plated with precious metal are not allowed in articles of precious metals. This means that, for example, an article of gold jewellery must not have some parts of gold-plated metal.

Other requirements

When you sell an article of precious metal, it must comply with all requirements of the legislation governing articles made of precious metals. Check the requirements from guide Articles of precious metals – manufacturing, importing and sales.

Scales intended for weighing precious metals

When you buy or sell precious metals by weight, you must use verified precision scales with a valid verification for the weighing. More detailed information on the scales can be found here  (in Finnish).

Chemicals in jewellery and watches

Watches and jewellery must not contain dangerous substances. For example, cadmium and lead are substances that are prohibited in jewellery. Articles of jewellery releasing nickel are also prohibited. If you are going to sell leather jewellery or watches with leather straps, remember that the use of chromium VI is banned in leather articles. The same requirements also apply to articles made of precious metals.

Battery-operated watches are electrical equipment

A battery-operated watch is an electrical and electronic equipment. Heavy metals, fire retardant products and plasticisers are chemicals whose use in electrical equipment is restricted. Legislation: RoHS legislation More information on the requirements can be found here.

Electrical equipment, batteries and accumulators are also subject to producer responsibility obligations. If you are a manufacturer or importer, you are liable for the costs of the waste management of your products when they are discarded. Matters related to producer responsibility in Finland have been centralised under the supervision of the Pirkanmaa ELY Centre.

Product safety

Articles of precious metals, jewellery and watches must not pose a risk to their users.