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Find out more about the importance of UK Hallmarking and what it means...

What is Hallmarking?

A Hallmark is a set of marks applied to precious metals which guarantees a legal standard and provenance. Hallmarking is a centuries-old practice and is done to prevent fraud and protect consumers by regulating the fineness of gold and silver.

Through the Hallmarking Act, it is a legal requirement for precious metal pieces to be hallmarked if they are oven a certain weight. 


UK Hallmarks

There are several different marks which make up a standard UK hallmark. Three marks must be included by law. These are the sponsor's mark, the type of metal and purity mark, and the assay office mark. Another mark which can often be found is a date letter mark, however this is not compulsory.

Sponsor's Mark

Also  known as the Maker's Mark, this is compulsory. This is the registered mark of the company or person that submitted the article for hallmarking. The shield shape varies with each stamp and the number of letters is always between 2 and 5. 

Every Sponsor's Mark is unique!

Fineness Symbol / Mark

Traditionally, the fineness symbols were stamped to show the fineness of the material. These symbols are shown on the right and the symbol of a lion (sterling silver mark) can be seen on the majority of our sterling silver spoon rings.

However, the Millesimal Fineness Mark became compulsory in 1999 and indicates the quality and metal type. Each mark is different depending on these factors.

As this mark became compulsory in 1999 and our spoon rings are created using antique spoons, they are rarely found on our jewellery.

Assay Office Mark

This compulsory mark indicates which Assay Office has tested and hallmarked the article.

The first UK Assay Office was Goldsmith's Hall, founded around 1300 and is where the term "hallmarking" originates from.

There are currently four UK Assay Offices operating today:

  • London Assay Office

  • Sheffield Assay Office

  • Birmingham Assay Office

  • Edinburgh Assay Office​

Date Letter Mark

Each year has a unique letter mark and represents the year it was made. The font, case, shield shape and letter change annually on the 1st of January. This is a non-compulsory.

Hanbeck Jewellery Spoons

We work with Sheffield Assay Office to make sure each of our Sterling Silver products complies with the Change of Use Law within the Hallmarking Act. Take a look at what this means.

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