Precious metals and stones have a very high price tag but a very low weight. Those buying them want to be sure they are getting what they pay for. So those selling them need to make sure they use high quality scales to weigh them.
A scale isn’t just a scale. Different types are suitable for different jobs and, when it comes to gemstones, they must be very accurate.
Under Commonwealth trade measurement laws, those involved in the gemstone trade have a number of responsibilities regarding their weighing instruments.
The National Measurement Institute (NMI) points out that they must:
- Make sure that they purchase instruments that are legal for trade use. They must be of a model that the NMI has approved and must be tested and verified by a servicing licensee or inspector
- Make sure that their scales are properly installed and always measure accurately
- Make sure that their measuring instruments are used appropriately, kept clean and kept in good working order
- Determine how often their instruments are re-verified by a servicing licensee
When a weight is measured over the counter, the scale must be in a clear position so the customer can easily see the weighing process, the weight and the price per prescribed unit.
Alternatively, if the buyer isn’t there to see the measurement they must be given a written statement setting out the weight of the items.
Further information regarding the NMI’s trade approval system for scales and the responsibilities of vendors is available on the NMI website.
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