1. Hallmarking is the law in the UK
A hallmark is a UK Government seal that’s stamped onto precious metal objects, such as jewellery or silverware.
The purpose of a hallmark is to certify the metal purity of the item. In other words, if an object is stamped with a ‘gold’ hallmark, then you, the consumer, knowing that it is indeed real gold – and not something else that simply looks like gold.
Watch our video of hallmarking happening at the London Assay Office:
2. It’s an Official Stamp of Quality
The purpose of a hallmark is to certify the metal purity of the item, so you know what quality of gold, silver or platinum you are buying.
Testing precious metals for purity is called “assaying”. Therefore, the places where hallmarking is done are called Assay Offices. Only one of the four authorised UK Government Assay Offices can apply a hallmark, the official stamp of quality.
3. British hallmarking was established 700 years ago
4. There are four UK assay offices
5. There are four precious metals that require hallmarking
Gold, silver and platinum, and most recently, palladium, must all be hallmarked by UK law.
Gold (including all variations of it like white, yellow and rose gold) must be further hallmarked as 9K, 14K, 18K and 22K standards, and so on. Read more about the difference between gold karats here.
Silver, platinum and palladium must also satisfy a percentage of purity to meet UK hallmarking requirements.
6. Hallmarking protects both consumers and jewellers
7. Today both modern & traditional assaying methods are used
8. Only officially registered hallmarks can be used
9. The only exceptions to the hallmarking law are items that weight very little
10. It’s a criminal offence to misrepresent a hallmark
Any prices quoted in this article are meant as guidelines, not offers, and may change any time after the publishing.