What is Hallmarking?

Country Designs by Lisa hallmarking London Assay Office

What is Hallmarking?  Well it’s not the 925 or 999 stamp you often see on a piece of silver jewellery.  It’s a full makers mark that has been stamped or laser marked by one of 4 assay offices in the UK.  I am registered with the London Assay Office.  You can tell which assay office has stamped the piece by the symbol in the mark, for London it is the lions head.

Anyone that sells precious metal (silver, gold platinum) must display the hallmark Dealer’s Notice, either online or on their shop or stall otherwise they are breaking the law.  If trading standards catch them they can be fined and have all their stock confiscated!  A very scary idea!  

Any item of silver jewellery needs to be hallmarked if it over 7.78g in weight.  I decided that for some of my more expensive items, even if they were under the weight I would get them hallmarked to give customers the confidence when buying from me.  

I also include a card with any hallmarked item purchased that explains all about the hallmark its history.  Below is a bit more information on the legal side of the process.

The Hallmarking Process

In the manufacture of jewellery and silverware, precious metals are not used in their purest forms and instead are 

alloyed with other metals. It isn’t possible to detect an article’s precious metal content by sight or touch. Therefore, it is a legal requirement for an Assay Office to hallmark articles containing precious metals if they are described as such and so the hallmark acts as your guide to the content of the piece.

Hallmarks are marks applied to precious metals to indicate the amount of pure metal in the alloy. Traditionally applied by striking with a punch, hallmarks can now also be applied using lasers. 

Hallmarking refers to the independent verification of the precious metal content.  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 with our claims as to metallurgical content.

All Country Designs by Lisa jewellery collections are made using Fine Silver and Sterling Silver.

Each marker has their own ‘makers’ mark.  This is Country Designs by Lisa’s.

Country Designs by Lisa hallmarking London Assay Office

Legal Terminology

The 1973 Hallmarking Act makes it unlawful to describe an item over a certain weight as gold, silver, platinum or palladium without an independent Hallmark

  • All Silver articles weighing more than 7.78 grams must be hallmarked

  • All Gold articles weighing more than 1 gram must be hallmarked

Articles below these exemption weights may be described as Gold, Silver, Palladium or Platinum without the need for a hallmark.

If you have any further questions about hallmarking or the assay process please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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2 thoughts on “What is Hallmarking?

  1. This is so interesting – I never knew much about this until seeing lots of TBCH jewellery makers mention it! An added layer to your process!

    1. Yes and a very important one! without it you can be in all sorts of trouble.

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