Branded fashion jewellery containing grams of precious metal under the hallmarking weight have caused precious metal hallmarking volumes to drop throughout 2011. Also as a result of the increase in the price of precious metal in 2011. In 2011 all categories of precious metal felt the effect of the price increase with gold sales down 24.1%, platinum down 10.3%, silver down 29.4% and palladium down 6.7%. In 2010, 14,841,840 units of precious metal jewellery were hallmarked by the four UK assay offices compared to 10,681,714 in 2011, resulting in a 26.8% reduction. Last year, for the third time running, silver jewellery was hallmarked more than pieces of gold jewellery, although hallmarking of silver jewellery pieces was down 29.8%. This is mainly due to the trends in jewellery shifting towards branded fashion jewellery which uses hardly, if any silver, so would be under the hallmarking weight of 7.78 grams, affecting the number of silver jewellery pieces being hallmarked by the UK assay offices.