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.