About British Hallmarking
The origins of hallmarking can be traced back to the fourth century AD and is perhaps the oldest known form of consumer protection. Initially imprinted on silver, today hallmarks can be found on all precious metals including Platinum, Yellow Gold, White Gold, Rose Gold and Palladium.
Hallmarks are an official mark of guaranteed metal content and in the UK can only be legitimately issued and applied by either the London, Sheffield, Birmingham or Edinburgh assay office. The presence of a recognised hallmark guarantees a certain level of purity or fineness of metal, as determined by formal metal (assay) testing.
Why is Hallmarking Important?
The use of hallmarks is universally recognised as a mean of ensuring that jewellery is exactly what it purports to be. Because precious metals are too soft to be used in their pure form to make jewellery, they are alloyed with copper or other metals to create a stronger and more durable alloy.
Because Gold, Silver and Platinum are costly metals, there is always a risk that unscrupulous manufacturers may reduce the precious metal content of an alloy by substituting the precious metal content with a cheaper alloy. For example, base metal jewellery plated with a thin layer of gold will initially look the same as jewellery made using the accepted ratio of precious metal. However, when the metal wears, the plating rubs off and the cheaper alloy is revealed.
Always Check for a Hallmark
With high volume manufacturing, significant profits can be made from just a small reduction to the use of precious metal. It is never worth the risk of buying jewellery that doesn’t bear a UK Hallmark symbol, even if the value seems good. Remember, the hallmark is there to protect you. The UK Hallmarking system has been in place for over 700 years and guarantees that your jewellery is genuine and meets the required purity standards.
What Does a Hallmark Look Like?
A hallmark is a series of marks or an official stamp you find on all jewellery made from precious metals which meet UK hallmarking standards. At Steven Stone, every piece of diamond jewellery we produce is sent to either the London, Birmingham or Edinburgh assay office to receive its hallmark. What the hallmarking stamp looks like depends on the assay office it was made in, the year of testing and the type of precious metal.
Contact Us. Get in touch with one of our experts, we guarantee a reply within 5 working hours. No matter what the question we are here to help