What it involves
A hallmark is a series of official marks that verify the purity of an article made from precious metal.
The hallmark must show:
the sponsors (or makers) mark
the fineness of the precious metal (in parts per thousand) inside a shield denoting either gold, silver or platinum
the mark of the Assay office where the item was tested
Additional voluntary marks such as a date letter (indicating year of manufacture), traditional fineness symbol and control marks may also appear.
If you sell articles described as gold, silver or platinum they must bear a hallmark. Items described as gold or silver plated etc. are not covered neither are items where the description is merely used to refer to the colour of an item.
There are some exemptions for small pieces due to the difficulty in applying the marks. The following articles are exempt from the hallmarking requirements:
Gold - if weighs less than 1g
Silver - if weighs less than 7.78g
Platinum - if weighs less than 0.5g
Also exempt are
Antiques - items made before 1920
Platinum articles made before 1975
Last updated: 6th November 2012