Gold, silver, platinum and palladium are acknowledged by law as Precious Metals.
To be commercialized these metals must bear the stamp indicating their purity degree, i.e. their purity, expressed in thousandths (no longer in carats).
The purity degrees acknowledged by D.L. no. 251 dated 22.05.99 are:
- GOLD > 375 585 -750 999,9/000 thousandths
- SILVER > 800 925 999/000 thousandths
- PLATINUM > 850 900 950/000 thousandths
- PALLADIUM > 500- 950/000 thousandths
Any purity degree greater than the maximum is admitted, while no negative tolerance is accepted.
Production of objects bearing purity degree stamps other than the ones approved for export outside non-EC member countries is allowed as long as they comply with the regulations current within the countries where the products are commercialized.
Every precious metal bears its own identification stamp, specific for dimensions and design. For example:
A producer, importer or dealer of any type of precious metals (from bars to jewels) must have its own identification trade stamp; 8853 SpA is for example identified by the trade stamp1748MI. Of course a commercial stamp is also accepted.
In addition to the purity degree stamp and the producer trade name the precious metal bars must also bear its weight.
Iridium, rhodium and ruthenium together with the four precious metals are also included in the so called Noble Metals class.