A hallmark is an official mark or series of marks struck on items made of precious metals to guarantee the content of the metal, the year of manufacture, and to distinguish the manufacturer.

Hallmark by Julie Nicaisse Jewellery Designer in London


Hallmarking and assaying were introduced in some parts of Europe in the early ages as one of the first forms of customer protection.  The word “hallmark” originates from the 15th Century when craftsmen were required to bring their work to the Goldsmiths Hall of London to be tested (assayed) and stamped (hallmarked).  This requirement remains unchanged still today.

Pure precious metals are rarely used in their pure states as they are too soft to be made into jewellery or other artefacts.  Silver, gold, platinum and palladium are typically alloyed with other metals and the hallmark guarantees that the metal we purchase is of legal standard.

Because it is impossible to tell the purity of a metal just by looking at it, thus making fraud easy, the assay office will scrape a tiny amount off metal from each item and scientifically test the level of each metal in that item.  If the item meets the standards, it will be hallmarked (stamped).

See our metals guide for more info.


Hallmark by Julie Nicaisse Jewellery Designer in London