The hallmark guarantees that the purity of the
metal is at least that indicated by the fineness Number.
Current International Hallmarks
Since the 1st January 1999 following a ruling of
the European Court of Justice, the UK is required to accept (and not
re – hallmark) other European national hallmarks which provide an
equivalent guarantee to consumers. It is the opinion of the British
Hallmarking Council that such hallmarks must contain a Sponsor’s or
Maker’s Mark, a Fineness (purity) Mark and an Assay Office Mark. For
The complete hallmark must guarantee that the
purity of the metal is at least that indicated by the Fineness
Some European national hallmarks incorporate the Fineness (Purity)
Mark in the Assay Office Mark. For example:
Using these criteria, the national hallmarks of
Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Portugal and Switzerland, without the
Common Control Mark, are acceptable in the UK.
Some European hallmarking countries are not members of the
Spain has a dual system of Assay Office hallmarking and licensed
manufacturers marking. The only Spanish hallmarks which conform to
the British Hallmarking Council are:
In the opinion of the British Hallmarking
Council, the national laws of Belgium and France do not presently
provide an equivalent guarantee. Some European hallmarking countries
are in the process of joining the International Convention (i.e.
France). Consequently, the list of acceptable Assay Office marks is
likely to be extended according to these developments.
Italy, Greece and Luxembourg do not have Independent systems of
guarantee. Articles from these countries must be hallmarked in the
UK or Convention hallmarked in one of the Convention countries.
National hallmarks of countries outside the European Economic Area
are not legal in the UK. Articles from these countries must be
hallmarked in the UK or Convention hallmarked in one of the