For more than 600 years, precious metal objects have been tested for their precious metal content. Assaying is the oldest form of consumer protection in the Netherlands. Contents of platinum, gold, silver or palladium in jewellery or objects are guaranteed by the Assay Office content mark.
The Assay Act
As of 11 March 2002 Assay Office EWN (Edelmetaal Waarborg Nederland B.V.) has been certified by the Ministry of Economic Affairs as a legal entity as referred to in Article 7, first paragraph of the Assay Act 1986. The main purpose of the Assay Act 1986 is to protect consumers against fraud with regard to the contents of precious metals in ornaments and utensils.
Precious Metal Content Testing
All ornaments and utensils manufactured in the Netherlands and/or imported and intended for the Dutch market must be presented by the manufacturer and/or importer to an Assay Office in order to have the goods tested on their contents of precious metals. Where these contents correspond to the legal contents, the relevant content mark will be applied to these goods, in order to make it clear to consumers to what minimum content of precious metal the object in question complies with.
The Netherlands is also a member of the Hallmarking Convention. This is an international agreement between several countries for assaying precious metals, using other hallmarks that are mutually accepted.
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