Payment Methods

New side column

In addition to card payments we also accept payments by cheque. Further details can be found in checkout. 

  • PayPal
  • Mastercard
  • Maestro
  • Visa
  • Visa Electron
  • American Express
Powered By paypal
Tweet my site !

Like Me !

Hallmarks

Historically, hallmarks were applied by a trusted party: the 'guardians of the craft' or nowadays by an assay office. Hallmarks are a guarantee of certain purity or fineness of the metal as determined by formal metal (assay) testing.

For example: Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by mass of silver and 7.5% by mass of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925.

Distinguishment

Hallmarks are often confused with "trademarks" or "maker's mark". Hallmarks are not the mark of a manufacturer to distinguish his products from other manufacturers’ products, which is the function of trademarks or makers' marks.

To be a true hallmark, it must be the guarantee of an independent body or authority that the contents are as marked. Thus, a stamp of '925' by itself is not, strictly speaking, a hallmark, but is rather an unattested fineness mark.

Prerequisites to hallmarking

Notwithstanding the hallmarking systems themselves, many nations require, as a prerequisite to official hallmarking, that the maker or sponsor itself mark upon the item a responsibility mark and a claim of fineness. The hallmark is only applied after the item has been assayed to determine that its purity conforms not only to the standards set down by the law but also and with the maker’s claims as to metallurgical content.

UK Hallmarking

In the UK, the hallmark is made up of several elements including: a mark denoting the type of metal, the maker/sponsor's mark and the year of the marking. In England, the year of making commences on May 19, the Feast Day of Saint Dunstan, patron saint of gold- and silversmiths.

Among a group of nations which are signatories to an international convention known as the Vienna Convention, additional, optional, yet official marks may also be struck by the assay office. These have the effect of easing import obligations among and between the member states. Signatory countries have a single representative hallmark which would be struck next to the Convention mark which represents the metal and fineness.

UK Assay Office Marks


Assay Offices

 

The Leopard’s Head of London

The Anchor of Birmingham

The Yorkshire Rose of Sheffield

The Castle of Edinburgh.

The Hallmarking Act 1973 made Britain a member of the Vienna Convention as well as introducing marking for platinum, a recognised metal under the Convention.

All four remaining assay offices finally adopted the same date letter sequences. The latest changes in 1999 were made to the UK hallmarking system to bring the system closer into line with the European Union (EU). Note: that under this latest enactment, the date letter is no longer a compulsory part of the hallmark.

As it now stands, the compulsory part of the UK hallmark consists of the sponsor or maker's mark, the assay office mark, and the standard of fineness (in this case silver, 925 parts in 1000).

 

Hallmarks

 

These are shown in the top of the two example hallmarks. The bottom example shows the extra marks that can also be struck, the lion passant, indicating Sterling silver, the date mark (lowercase a for '2000'), and in this example, the 'Millennium mark', which was only available for the years 1999 and 2000. The bottom example bears the Yorkshire rose mark for the Sheffield Assay Office.

The Hallmarking Act was amended in July 2009 to include palladium from January 2010

Articles below a certain weight are exempt from hallmarking. The exemption weight is based on the precious metal content only, excluding, for example, weight of 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:

Platinum 0.5 grams

Gold 1.0 grams

Palladium 1.0 grams

Silver 7.78 grams 

Bespoke Service

Know what your looking for but just can’t find it – why not design your own using our Exclusively Bespoke service. Click herefor more details.

Shopping Basket

You currently have no items in your basket.