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Guide to Hallmarking of Gold & Silver Jewellery

guide to hallmarking gold and silver jewellery

Hallmarking precious metal has been carried out in Britain since the 1300s however, it wasn't until 1973 that the process became fully enshrined in law to cover jewellery. Before this date, only particular items of jewellery - for example wedding rings - required hallmarks. It's not uncommon, therefore, to find antique pieces of jewellery bearing no hallmarks at all. You'll notice this when browsing antique and vintage jewellery.

Today, and for jewellery manufactured int the last 50 years or so, hallmarking is how jewellers and manufacturers guarantee the purity of the precious metals we sell such as silver, gold, platinum or palladium. In order to work these metals and shape them into jewellery, other alloys such as copper are introduced to make the precious metal more workable. Hallmarking protects the consumer by making sure the precious metal content is not reduced below a specified amount.

Current day legislation requires jewellery sold in the UK to be sent to one of four Assay Offices to be tested and 'struck' (stamped) with a hallmark. This hallmark will include up a variety of symbols, one or two of which will tell you the quality of the gold, silver or other precious metal in the piece.

At Sterling & Wilde we abide by the Hallmarking Act of 1973 (and subsequent amendments) as follows:

Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery

All of our gold items weighing over 1 gram are hallmarked. Gold items weighing under 1 gram are stamped with their fineness mark as follows:

375 for 9ct
(minimum fineness of gold that can sold in the UK)
585 for 14ct
750 for 18ct

Hallmarking of Silver Jewellery

We only sell solid sterling silver in our jewellery shop - we do not sell base metal jewellery that has been plated in sterling silver. Our silver jewellery will be hallmarked where the item weighs over 7.78 grams. If not, the metal will be stamped with the fineness mark as follows:

925 for sterling silver

Sterling Silver Plated in Gold

Some of the items we sell are made from solid sterling silver with a thin plating of gold over the top. In accordance with the law, these items will only carry sterling silver marks, which will follow the silver weight criteria above.

All of the metals we sell at Sterling & Wilde are precious metals. We do not plate inferior metals in silver or gold.

Questions About Our Jewelley?

We are always on hand to answer questions about our gold and silver jewellery, and you can reach us at hello@sterlingwilde.co.uk or 0207 846 0254.

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