A hallmark is used for identifying the purity of precious metals used in jewellery making. Metals such as Silver, Gold, Platinum and Palladium are all assayed and hallmarked along with the assay stamp, a makers stamp and year of assay.
Silver = 925 or 92.5% fine silver content
9ct Gold = 375 or 37.5% fine gold content
18ct Gold = 750 or 75% fine gold content
Platinum = 950 or 95% fine platinum content
Palladium = 950 or 95% fine palladium content
Hallmarks are issued at one of the four Assay Offices within the UK; Birmingham, London, Sheffield and Edinburgh. All precious metal items require a hallmark to ensure they meet the required standard. However some items are exempt.
Silver items under 7.78g
Gold items under 1g
Platinum items below 0.5g
Until 1998, a Hallmark consisted of four COMPULSORY MARKS. Since 1998 the date letter has become optional but the other three symbols remain compulsory.The symbols give the following information: