hallmarking jewellery tips sterling silver

What is a Hallmark?

A hallmark is a small mark on your jewellery that guarantees it is made from the precious metal that the seller claims it is. It is a sign of quality and an assurance to you the customer that you are getting a genuine precious metal article. 

Precious metals include silver, gold, platinum or palladium.

What does it look like?
The mark has 3 parts. 

  1. The Sponsors mark shows who has made the jewellery. My sponsors mark is a SZ in a circle and only my jewellery can have this unique mark.
  2. The Fineness mark show what metal it is made from. 925 means Sterling Silver. 
  3. The Assay Office mark shows where it was tested and hallmarked. My jewellery is hallmarked by the Edinburgh Assay office and this is represented by a castle symbol.

There are additional optional marks too like a date mark. S shows it was hallmarked in 2017.

The hallmark is often very small and placed in a position that doesn’t affect the finished look of the jewellery; either on the back or on the inside of a ring or bangle. Sometimes the hallmark is made larger or placed in full view as a decorative design element of the finished piece.

Is it necessary?

Yes. It is a legal requirement that all jewellery claiming to be made from a precious metal and sold in the UK carries a hallmark. There are exemptions however. The weight threshold for silver jewellery is 7.78g so anything less than this does not require a hallmark.

So now you know. Check your jewellery for a hallmark and always ask if its hallmarked before buying to make sure you are getting what you’re paying for. 


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