Gold and silver hallmarks
Understanding British or English hallmarking since 1238

Dating Silver by Assay and Fineness marks
Quickly decide whether the your object is pre 1975 and its original Assay office.

Using a British Hallmark Guide
How to quickly identify gold and Silver hallmarks that you see in car boot sales and markets.

Dating UK Hallmarks
See all the main dated hallmarks from the UK since 1678

International Hallmarks
How to identify the international hallmarks on gold, silver and platinum products.

Rare Gold and Silver Hallmarks
Hallmarks used for events, dates or hallmarks that are no longer made.

Understanding British Hallmarks
The 8 hallmarks that guarantee the quality and value on UK Assayed products.

Gold and Silver Hallmark Guide
Buy this hallmark guide for your iphone, ipod touch or mobile device for £2.99 now.


gold and silver hallmark


Understanding English Hallmarks

Hallmarks are small markings stamped on gold, silver and platinum articles. A British Hallmark means that the article has been independently tested and guarantees that it conforms to all legal standards of purity (fineness). These tests are carried out only by an Assay Office, of which there are four in the UL – London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh.

The Hallmarking Act 1973 changed on 1 January 1999 and allows articles of higher and lower standards of fineness to be sold. This brings UK law into line with European law. Consumers may now choose from a much wider range of goods but to continue to benefit from the same level of protection.

It is illegal for any trader to sell or describe a precious metal article as gold, silver or platinum unless it is hallmarked. Gold articles weighing less than 1 gram, silver articles weighing less than 7.78 grams and platinum articles weighing less than half a gram are exempt from hallmarking.

The British UK hallmark guarantees that the purity of the metal is at least that indicated by the fineness Number. Below are some examples of current UK hallmarks.

current U.K. hallmarks

Compulsory marks
Modifications to the hallmarking Act, effective from 1 January 1999, Have changed the way articles made of precious metal are hallmarked. The UK Hallmark now comprises a minimum of three compulsory symbols.

Sponsors or Makers Mark
Indicates the maker or sponsor of the article. In Britain, this mark consists of at least two letters within the shield, and no two marks are the same.

Metal and Fineness (Purity) MarkIndicates the precious metal content of thee article, and that it is not less than the fineness indicated. Since 1999, all finesses are indicated by a millesimal number (e.g. 375 is 9ct). This number is contained in a shield depicting the precious metal.

Assay Office Mark
Indicates the particular Assay Office at which the article was tested and marked. There are now four British Assay Offices – London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh. There were other Assay Offices in former times.

compulsory hallmarks UK
Voluntary Marks in English Hallmarks

Traditional Fineness (Purity) Mark
Prior to 1999, silver and platinum finenesses were indicated by symbols.

  fineness purity hallmarks

Common Control Mark
This is a mark used by countries which are signatories to the International Convention on Hallmarks.

    common control hallmark 

Date Mark
Until 1999, a date letter indicating the year of hallmarking was compulsory. This is no longer so, but it can be applied voluntarily in addition to the compulsory marks.

date mark hallmark 

Commemorative Mark
One example is the Millennium Mark which will be applied to precious metals by the four UK Assay Offices during 1999 and 2000.

commemorative hallmark 

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gold and silver hallmarks