HALLMARKING - PRECIOUS METALS GUARANTEE


The history of examination and marking precious metals, especially silver, goes back to the 4th century and represents the oldest known form of consumer protection. Hallmarking was introduced in England in 1300's, when Edward I requested that all silver articles must meet the sterling silver standard (92.5% pure silver) and must be assayed by 'guardians of the craft' who would then mark the item with a leopard's head which is still the mark of the London Assay Office today. In 1363, the maker's mark was added to the hallmark. The maker's or sponsor’s mark tells the buyer who submitted it to be hallmarked, and ensures traceability of the piece.

The techniques of hallmarking have evaluated over the centuries but its aim has not changed and hallmarking is still used to protect the public against fraud and the trader against unfair competition. As precious metals are not used in their pure form - they are too soft - they are usually alloyed with other metals to create an alloy that is more suitable to jewellery. As it can be impossible for even an expert to determine the quality and fineness of precious metal items by sight or touch alone hallmarks are a guarantee of certain purity or fineness of the metal as determined by formal metal (assay) testing. Hallmarking involves testing articles made of precious metal - such as Platinum, Gold, Silver and most recently Palladium - and marking them to indicate that they are of a minimum standard of purity.

The Hallmarking Act 1973 made Britain a member of the Vienna Convention as well as introducing marking for platinum, a recognised metal under the Convention.

Hallmarks are often confused with "trademarks" or "maker's mark". Hallmarks are not the mark of a manufacturer to distinguish his products from other manufacturers’ products, which is the function of trademarks or makers' marks. Hallmark, it must be the guarantee of an independent body or authority that the contents are as marked. A hallmark is an official mark or series of marks struck on items made of precious metals—platinum, gold, silver and in some nations, palladium.

Monartti complies with the Hallmarking Act (1973), each piece of our silver jewellery has been hallmarked by the Goldsmith Assay Office and with our sponsor’s mark ‘MRT’ therefore you can be assured that all of our products have been independently tested and are of the highest quality sterling silver. 

Our sponsor number is: 70520


For more information concerning precious metals and hallmarking please visit 

http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/welcome-to-the-assay-office/

British Hallmarks