What Does Hallmarking Mean?
In the UK, a Hallmark is comprised of Three Compulsory Marks, which provide the following information:
- Who was responsible for producing the article.
- What its guaranteed standard of fineness is.
- The Assay Office at which the article was tested and marked
Example of a Hallmark:
|AB Sponsor or maker||750 Standard||Anchor Assay Office|
Sponsor’s Mark (formerly known as the Maker’s mark)
This shows the person or company responsible for sending the article to the Assay Office. The sponsor may be the importer, manufacturer, or retailer amongst others.
Assay Office Mark
There are now 4 British Assay Offices
The separate Assay Office marks for imported goods were discontinued in 1999.
These show the standard of fineness – in other words the purity of the precious metal, in parts per thousand (PPT). For Example:
|The background shape shows the metal (gold).The figure shows the article consists of 750 parts of gold by weight to 250 parts of other metals – 75% gold. This is equal to 18 carats (18 parts in every 24), the traditional way of describing gold purity.|
Current Gold Standards
|9 carat||14 carat||18 carat||22 carat|
In addition to the Compulsory Marks a sponsor may wish to incorporate any of the traditional marks which have been struck on British articles over the centuries and which have been recognised throughout the world.