re you a budding silversmith and need advice on how to hallmark your pieces correctly? This blog will give you a full breakdown of what is required and how to go about getting your pieces hallmarked before sale. With answers to some of the most common questions we get from start-up jewellery businesses, you’ll be ready to send your latest pieces to your nearest Assay Office sooner than you think.
Why do I need to hallmark jewellery?
In the UK, hallmarking precious metals of a certain quality is a legal requirement. In fact, the Hallmarking Act 1973 makes it impossible to legally market your precious metal goods (of a certain quality) without hallmarks. As silver, gold, palladium and platinum are very rarely used in their pure form within jewellery pieces, it’s required that the hallmark is used so that customers can identify the quality of the jewellery piece they’re buying.
The Hallmarking Act 1973 also states that any dealer supplying precious metal jewellery should display a notice explaining the approved hallmarks, otherwise known as a Dealers Notice. This must be the notice produced by the British Hallmarking Council, and can be obtained by your nearest Assay Office.
When do you need to hallmark jewellery?
If you work primarily with silver, gold, platinum, palladium, or all of the above, you’ll need to do a little research to check whether your pieces will require hallmarking. According to current legislation, if your pieces are made entirely or partially made with silver, gold, platinum or palladium and not covered under the Assay Offices’ exemptions, you’re required to get your jewellery pieces hallmarked.
We’ve laid out the exemptions below, but if you’re ever unsure you can always contact your nearest Assay Office for more information.
Exemptions to hallmarking
Precious metal pieces below a certain weight will not require hallmarking. These include:
- Silver 7.78g
- Gold 1g
- Platinum 0.5g
- Palladium 1g
There are a number of other exemptions maintained by UK law, for example, if you sell vintage pieces, those that were made before 1950 do not require a hallmark.
How to get jewellery hallmarked
Now you’ve established whether or not your jewellery requires hallmarks, you can start the process.
You’ll need to follow these 5 steps:
- Send your pieces off to your nearest Assay office to be evaluated
- Once tested, they will give your work the right purity mark
- They will then add your unique sponsors mark
- They will then add the mark that indicates which Assay Office evaluated the piece
- Not yet got your own sponsor mark? Register your design with the Assay office for approval