Does my Silver or Gold jewellery need to be hallmarked?
This is a question that I get asked quite often so for those of you who aren't sure I thought I would explain what is legally required. Full details about the hallmarking process can be found at: https://www.assayofficelondon.co.uk/media/2635/e3087_london-dealer-notice-updates-sep-19-single-sided.pdf
Buying a piece of jewellery with a hallmark is confirmation that the item is what it says it is. All items sent to the Assay Office are tested before the hallmark is applied to ensure the quality of the item.
By Law, an item of Precious Metal has to show a hallmark if it is above a certain weight. These weights differ depending on the metal. As I work mainly in Sterling Silver and Gold I will detail the requirements for these metals.
For Sterling Silver, any single item that weighs more than 7.78 grams has to have a hallmark applied to it in order to be advertised and sold as a piece of Sterling Silver. The weight for an item of Gold is 1 gram.
This means that if a single item of Sterling Silver or Gold weighs less than the above weights they can be sold and advertised as Sterling Silver or Gold and don't need to have a hallmark applied.
Alongside the hallmark which shows which Assay Office has applied the hallmark (in my jewellery this is London). you will see the fineness of the metal, the year it was made and also the sponsors mark - which for me is CEN (my initials).
As I hold my sponsors punch I can apply this to all of my jewellery myself. This is to show that I have made the item. The majority of my items are sent off for hallmarking as it is my preferred way to handle my jewellery but I am happy to sell an item (if under the required weight) without a hallmark. The item will still have my Sponsors Mark applied to show that it is one of my pieces.
An item that doesn't legally require a hallmark can be made and dispatched quicker than if it has to be sent off for hallmarking so if your require you item in a shorter time, then this may be an option for you. Any item that can legally be sent without a hallmark is detailed in the website. Any item that has or requires a hallmark will be slightly more expensive than an un hallmarked piece due to the costs involved in the hallmarking process.