Hallmarking is so important as not only does it tell the story of when and where an item was made, but also it protects you as a customer from fraud.
As supplied by the Assay Office, here is all of the basic information that you need to know:
Want to know more about Hallmarking? Read on!
Hallmarking indicates that an item has been independently tested and verified as matching it's description, and that it conforms to to all legal standards of purity or fineness of metal.
Hallmarking is a legal requirement for all metals over a certain weight. The specified weights vary depending on the metal.
London Assay Office Official Guidelines:
"Articles below a certain weight are exempt from hallmarking."
"The exemption weight is based on the weight of the precious metal in the article, excluding, for example, diamonds, stones etc., except in the case of articles consisting of precious metal and base metal in which case the exemption weight is based on the total metal weight:"
Silver: 7.78 grams
Palladium: 1.0 gram
Gold: 1.0 gram
Platinum: 0.5 grams
Any pre-1950 item may now be described and sold as precious metal without a hallmark, if the seller can prove that it is of minimum fineness and was manufactured before 1950."
There are several other exemptions which can be found on pages 14 - 16 of the linked PDF below marked Source 1.
How is the purity of a metal measured?
The simple answer is - in parts per thousand. The higher the number hallmarked, the purer that particular metal is. You might ask, so if 9ct gold is 375 parts gold to every 1000, what is the rest of my item made from? The remainder are alloys. Alloys are often "lesser metals" and are used to achieve a desired strength, durability, colour and so on.
Here is a table detailing the finesses for each metal as supplied by the London Assay Office:
What are the minimum requirement's of a hallmark?
There are three compulsory symbols that make up a hallmark, and they are comprised of:
The Sponsor's or Maker's Mark: This lets you know who has made or sponsored the item. No two sponsor marks are the same, and they always consist of at least two letters within a surround.
Below is an example of a Sponsors Mark, Purity Mark and an Assay office Mark.
Purity Mark: As detailed above this mark indicates the fineness of the metal in parts per thousand. The metal type is indicated by the shape of the surround.
Assay Office Mark: This lets you know where the item was Hallmarked. There are four Assay offices in the UK, London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Sheffield. Each is symbolised by a different pictorial image.
There are also further options pieces of information that can be added to the hallmark, such as; the Traditional Fineness Symbol, Date Letter, Common Control and Convention Marks. You can read all about these in the full on the Assay Office London's website.
We manufacture all of the items on our website and Etsy page, this is verified by our official and personal makers mark of "Ht".
For more information, or to read the source of the above information in more detail please click here to be directed to the PDF as supplied by the Assay Office London.