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Hallmarks

UK Hallmarking Explained

HALLMARKING - OUR GUARANTEE

Should you be looking to make your next considered jewellery purchase, did you know only jewellery that carries an officially registered British or international hallmark can be legally sold in the UK? Please be aware of counterfeits and read on.

When buying jewellery in-store or online, most customers are often persuaded by the piece's design, colour, and fit. Enquiring about unglamorous legal requirements an article needs to have is rarely discussed, yet arguably the most critical part of the purchase.

Although it is not a legal requirement for a piece of jewellery to carry any paperwork to accompany its sale, it is a legal requirement that any piece being sold as gold, silver, platinum or palladium - and over a certain weight - must carry hallmarks.

At C W Sellors we place great importance on keeping the standards of the UK jewellery manufacturing and retail industry maintained. Each jewellery piece that passes through our workshop into our boutiques and online is evaluated for the hallmarking process. This allows us to guarantee you are purchasing the correct purity of precious metal and be able to shop with confidence and peace of mind.

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HALLMARKS EXPLAINED

OUR DIGITAL DEALER'S NOTICE


As the above video explains, any person or business that deals in precious metals MUST display on their premises, in a conspicuous position, a Hallmarking Act 1973 notice as approved by the British Hallmarking Council. This is called a Dealer's Notice and can be seen throughout our stores.

As more sales continue to be done online, the British Hallmarking Council recognised the need for reputable jewellers who comply with UK law to provide customers with a Digital Dealers Notice. We are proud to display our Digital Dealers Notice below.

WHERE DOES HALLMARKING ORIGNATE?

The word hallmark originated in the fourteenth century when London craftspeople were first required to bring their artefacts to Goldsmiths’ Hall for assaying and marking – an early form of consumer protection. Seven hundred years later, Goldsmith’s Company (London) Assay Office and the other Assay Offices of the UK continue the tradition of guaranteeing the level of precious metal content in line with UK law.


WHO PROVIDES THE HALLMARKING SERVICE?

An Assay Office must do all testing. There are four offices based in the UK – London, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Sheffield. Each has a fascinating history and offers some great insights and further reading online into this important part of the jewellery industry. Some even offer the chance to visit, which the team at C W Sellors would highly recommend should you get the opportunity.


WHAT ARE TODAY'S HALLMARKING STANDARDS?

All jewellery sold in the UK, if having been made with gold, silver, platinum or palladium, must be fully hallmarked according to the Hallmarking Act 1973, should the metal of any item be over the following weights;;

1 gram for gold
0.5 gram for platinum & palladium
7.78 grams for silver


Should a metal object weigh under the above gram weights, they are exempt from the hallmarking law. Small jewellery items such as stud earrings or pendants may fall into this category and do not have to be hallmarked.

what to look for in a hallmark

Hallmarking Keys

When looking at a hallmark, it could be described as a jewellery registration plate. Currently it must include marks for sponsors (or designer), fineness (metal type and content) and assay office (who passed it). It may also include the (year) date and any special commemorative mark.

Although there are hundreds of registered hallmark elements, the selection featured in the graphic show the standard/minimum set of hallmarks you would expect on a legal piece of jewellery sold in the UK.

Assay Hallmarks

A BREAKDOWN OF HALLMARKS

Since 1979, all pieces crafted in our workshop have included C W Sellors' long-held and reputable jewellers mark - CWS. This stamp has provided over 40 years of peace of mind to anyone buying jewellery from our high street stores and online.

The CWS hallmark also covers those pieces sold in W Hamond, Whitby Jet Store, Robert and Victoria and Araucaria jewellery boutiques in Whitby.

WHERE TO LOOK FOR YOUR HALLMARKS

Depending on the size of the jewellery piece, the hallmark can easily be deciphered and, in many instances, add a distinct finishing touch to the design – as seen in our Jubilee Hallmark Collection. For small pieces, the hallmarks must be accommodated where possible and can be stamped/lasered so small they can only be seen via an eyeglass/loupe.


WE ARE GOING EVEN FURTHER...

In addition to our ongoing work promoting and raising awareness of UK hallmarking, we have submitted C W Sellors for further independent verification under the 'Assay Assured Jewellery Retailer' Trustmark scheme to provide continued consumer confidence. The Trustmark ensures an online retailer has been audited and their jewellery scientifically tested.


BE AWARE OF THE FAKE MARKET

With the increase in web jewellery sales and activity, it is no surprise to see an increase in jewellery suspected as not being hallmarked and therefore fake being sold online. Unregulated online traders and sites such as Amazon, eBay and Preloved are filled with thousands of listings that have not been advertised as hallmarked. We strongly recommend avoiding purchasing from these types of sites if you are serious about your jewellery purchase.

Should you have any questions about hallmarking or would like further information about any of our processes, please feel free to contact us at info@cwsellors.co.uk, call us on +44 1335 453 453





Jubilee Hallmark Collection

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