Hallmarks were first used in the 1300’s when a Statute of Edward I instituted the assaying (testing) and marking of precious metals. The intention of the hallmarking system remains the same now as it was then - the protection of the consumer from fraud, and the trader from unfair competition.
Hallmarking guarantees the purity of precious metals. Metals are tested and, if they meet a certain minimal purity requirement they are marked with a specified seal. At the present time there are four UK assay offices, London, Birmingham Sheffield and Edinburgh.
Since 1998 a UK hallmark has consisted of three compulsory marks: A sponsors mark which shows the person or company responsible for sending the article to the assay office (often a combination of two letters), a standard mark which shows the purity of the precious metal (e.g. 925 = sterling silver, 375 = 9 carat gold) and the mark of one of the four assay offices. Prior to 1998 a date mark was also required but this is no longer compulsory.
Gold items weighing under 1 gram and Silver items weighing less than 7.78 grams are exempted from compulsory hallmarking.
With reference to our Jewellery
All jewellery supplied by Touch Jewellery will comply with UK legislation and will be hallmarked were applicable. Many of our Silver lines are below the exemption weight and will not have a UK hallmark. They may or may not be stamped with “925”. The 925 stamp is often stamped on to silver jewellery in the country of origin but is not mandatory and does not constitute a UK hallmark. All of our jewellery items are sourced from highly reputable suppliers.