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Hounslow Council are warning people looking to cash in unwanted gold to make sure they are getting a fair deal.

The council is concerned some businesses buying and selling scrap gold are ignoring legal requirements about the types of equipment used to value items.

Michael Jordan, director of environment at the council, said:

"The high price of gold has meant many people are looking to get some extra cash by selling old, unwanted gold items, such as jewellery.

"However, many traders are unaware of, or ignoring, the legal requirement to use highly accurate equipment to buy precious metals.

"In some cases we have seen traders using cheap digital kitchen scales to weigh customers’ items.

"When the price of precious metals is so high, every milligram counts and using the wrong type, or inaccurate scales can lead to customers being badly short changed."

Council officers are visiting jewellers, pawn shops and gold trading booths across the borough to inspect and test the various scales used.

Residents thinking of selling their jewellery for scrap are advised to shop around for the best deals and to closely check the markings on the scales used.

Look for a black ‘M’ on a green background, the ‘CE’ mark and a I or II in an oval on the instrument panel. If any of these are absent, or a III is shown in an oval, the scale should not be used.

Local businesses dealing in scrap precious metals that need advice on choosing a scale, or who suspect their scales may be wrong can contact the council on for guidance.

March 22, 2012