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Last update: 19/06/2019

Role and Functions of the Precious Metals

The objective of the Precious Metals Convention is to facilitate trade in precious metal articles while at the same time maintaining fair trade and consumer protection justified by the particular nature of these articles. For that purpose, the Convention has introduced the first international hallmark – the Common Control Mark (CCM) – indicating the precious metal and its fineness.

The Convention enables designated national Assay Offices under the terms of the Convention to apply the Common Control Mark to articles of platinum, gold, palladium and silver and after having tested their fineness in accordance with agreed testing methods. Each Contracting State allows goods marked with this CCM to be imported without further testing and marking (if such articles qualify for the domestic market). Platinum, gold and silver are defined as precious metals in most Contracting States. Palladium, which was recently introduced, is not accepted everywhere. For the acceptance of palladium in Contracting States, see the questionnaire available on the web page on "Documents & Statistics" by clicking here. Multimetal articles can also be marked with the CCM under the Convention. However, they may not be accepted in all Contracting States. The survey on the acceptance of multimetal articles is available on the same link as the questionnaire on palladium (see above).

Articles bearing the Convention mark (the CCM) - together with the national Assay Office Mark, the responsibility mark and the fineness mark - are accepted without further testing or marking by any of the Contracting States (if such articles qualify for the domestic market). Although exceptional, check tests are nevertheless permitted.

There are two types of CCM:

Type 1 is the historically first CCM and indicates the precious metal (i.e. platinum, gold, palladium or silver) and its fineness in parts per thousand.  The nature of the precious metal is indicated by the form of the shield.  It is applied together with the Assay Office mark and the responsibility mark.  These 3 marks are compulsory when applied together.  Other marks, which may be applied in addition, are optional.


As Type 1 of the CCM is specific to the precious metal, it exists in 4 different shapes:

Platinium Gold Palladium Silver
Platinum CCM Gold CCM Pd950 Silver CCM
999-990-950-900-850-600-500 999-990- 916-800-750- 585-417-375 999-990-950-500 999-990-958-925-835-830-800

Type 2 is the more recent version of the CCM and was introduced in 2019.  It is a pure conformity mark and not combined.  As a result, it has a standardised octagonal shield.  It is applied together with the Assay Office mark, the responsibility mark, the nature of the precious metal and the fineness mark as follows:

CCM Type 2

Some marks can be combined such as the Assay Office mark and the type of precious metal, indicated e.g. by a symbol (e.g. Au for gold) - see example in table above, .

The responsibility mark has to be registered in the country which applies the CCM. Thereby, it does not need to be registered in the importing country.

Members will only accept CCM marked articles of a fineness which is legal in the importing country. Each country remains free to determine the standards of precious metal articles that can be manufactured or put on sale within its borders. 5 CCM finenesses are legal standards of fineness in all Contracting States: Pt 950, Au 750, Au 585, Ag 925 and Ag 800. Moreover, as any other imported products, CCM marked articles are subject to national requirements regarding health (e.g. presence of nickel or cadmium), security, anti-dumping, child protection, etc.

The marking of articles of precious metals with the CCM is carried out on a voluntary basis; compulsory hallmarking is not required from the Contracting States to the Convention. This means in practice that an exporter has the choice between (i) asking his domestic assay office for the CCM marking or (ii) sending its goods without CCM to the exporting State. In the first case, CCM-marked goods will be accepted without further control in the importing country while in the second case, the articles will have to meet the requirements of the importing State (e.g. registration of the responsibility mark).

As the requirements under the Precious Metals Convention are often more rigorous than domestic regulations, the CCM has earned an international reputation of integrity and quality.