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What are those little inscriptions on your favorite jewelry? – times of India

Have you ever thought about those small inscriptions that are inscribed on the back of gold, silver, platinum objects or jewellery? Chances are you are wearing a jewel of perceived purity. These marks are due to several reasons –

a. The creator is proud of his work, so signed the piece with a stamp or emblem;

NS. To track the flow of goods through the chain of work in a workshop;

C. Because a legal process has been adopted, as in some countries it has been made mandatory before sale. The last of these is called ‘Hallmarking’. We reached out to Dr C Vinod Hayagreev, Managing Director, C Krishnaiah Chetty Group of Jewelers, a 150-year-old heritage jewelery house, to discuss this in detail.

Need and Origin of Gold Hallmark

Hallmarking is necessary today because precious metals are not used in their pure form when jewelery and silverware are made, as they are too soft. Gold, silver and platinum are often mixed with copper or other metals to form alloys that are more suitable for the jewel or consumer’s requirements or standards followed by the jeweler. Such an alloy needs to be strong, workable, yet attractive.

Therefore, the goods manufactured and sold are of different fineness of metal purity and require proper disclosure to the buyer during the course of sale. In order to certify the stated purity and protect customers from substandard metal standards, and to guarantee that the purchase is genuine of a specified purity, hallmarking of the item was mandatory.

The earliest forms of hallmarking originated in Europe, from King Louis IX of France and Edward I of England in the 12th century, where state-appointed investigators examined every precious metal and later with marks assigned to each individual goldsmith. Hallmarked, and date produced before being offered for public sale.

The term “Hallmark” refers to the Goldsmith Company Assay Office, where hallmarking began in 1327, 700 years before the statute was passed by King Edward III of England for the “Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths”, headquartered in London. The English word “Hallmark” is derived from this hall, where the test was followed by marks with its official marks.

Thus, hallmarks are official marks made by competent authorities, by the jeweler himself or by the government, or by both and used on articles that are accurate with the official recording of the proportionate content of the precious metal in the articles to protect the public. are precisely determined. Against adulteration and forcing manufacturers to maintain legal standards of beauty.

In addition, some official symbols were also used to commemorate the major events found here.

Hallmarking of jewelery in the United Kingdom

All precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum and palladium sold in the United Kingdom have a legally recognized hallmark. With few exceptions for a precious metal item weighing less than a certain quantity. The minimum weight thresholds are:

Gold 1 gram.

Silver 7.78 grams.

Platinum 0.5 g.

Palladium 1 gram.

The item is said to be fully hallmarked if it has the following 3 mandatory marks.

a) Registered mark of the company or manufacturer. This mark consists of at least 2 characters.

b) Precious metal content is recorded in parts per thousand.

c) An assay office mark.

interesting details

The 4 Assay Office marks of the United Kingdom use the respective marks.

Birmingham uses an anchor.

Edinburgh uses a three-tower castle.

London uses the head of a leopard.

Sheffield uses York roses.

These standard marks determined the purity of metals

The lion passant refers to silver (925 fineness) marked in England.

The massive lion refers to silver (925 finesse) marked in Scotland.

Britannia Silver (958 beauty).

Palladium (950 fine) is represented by the helmeted head of Pallas Athena.

The crown indicates gold.

The orb indicates platinum.

international convention symbol

Members of the International Convention on Hallmarks apply, accept and recognize these common control marks in their countries. The member countries of the convention are Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. Empire.

Hallmarking of Jewelery in the United States:

The United States lacks a proper assaying system. Customers are sometimes offered gold that suffers from undercutting, in which the offered gold content may be lower than stated. Best Guarantee is an organization such as Jewelers of America that puts the letter “J” above the entrance to guarantee the quality of the goods and undertakes to comply with the Code.

Policy. However, the manufacturer’s trademark is solely responsible before the law. Any infringement of customer rights can win big claims.

Refers to membership of the Plumb Gold Club, a voluntary jeweler’s body in the United States that has strict guidelines and tests.

Hallmarking of Jewelery in Singapore (Singapore Assay Office) :

The SAO of the Singapore Test Service is an independently accredited assaying center for the testing and hallmarking of precious metals such as gold and silver. To be considered for hallmarking the assay procedure is conducted using instruments such as XRF-fluorescence spectrometer and fire assay methods that follow Singapore standard SS581:2012.

Hallmarks include the following:

a) SAO lion head marking.

b) The fineness mark represents the purity of the metal.

c) A simple logo or words marking to represent the jeweler’s company or manufacturer.

Hallmarking of Jewelery in Japan

The Japanese government has never practiced or discussed systems for testing, assaying and hallmarking gold.

The Japanese government has never practiced or discussed systems for testing, assaying and hallmarking gold jewellery. Japan accepts metals such as gold, silver and platinum from international standards organizations.

The following are acceptable standards:

Gold of fineness- 917, 835,750, 625, 585, 500, 417 and 375.

Silver of Fineness- 950, 925, 900 and 800.

Platinum of Finance – 950, 900 and 850.


The objective of mandatory hallmarking is to bring more customer confidence and protect them from falling prey to false declarations about the purity of gold or other precious metals. As seen above, every milligram jewel should be hallmarked, regardless of weightage.


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