Hallmarked

In the UK it is illegal to sell or describe any item as Gold, Silver, Platinum or Palladium unless it is hallmarked*.

A UK hallmark is struck by an independent assay office and guarantees the precious metal content of the item you are buying. Sellers in contravention of the law may be prosecuted and could face fines or imprisonment.

The Hallmark comprises three compulsory marks:

Sponsor's Mark

The registered mark of the company that submitted the article for hallmarking.

A B

Fineness Mark

Tells you the precious metal content, expressed in parts per thousand.

Silver: 800 925 Sterling
Sterling
958 Britannia
Britannia
999
Palladium: 2009
500
2009
950
2009
999
2010
500
2010
950
2010
999
Gold: 375 9 carat
9 carat
585 14 carat
14 carat
750 18 carat
18 carat
916 22 carat
22 carat
990 999
Platinum: 850 900 950 999

Assay Office Mark

Tells you which Assay Office tested and hallmarked the article.

London
London
Birmingham
Birmingham
Sheffield
Sheffield
Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Optional Marks

You may see optional marks, such as the traditional fineness symbol and the date letter depicting the year the item was hallmarked.

Traditional Fineness Symbols

Sterling Silver
Sterling Silver
Sterling Silver Scotland
Sterling Silver Scotland
Britannia Silver
Britannia Silver
Palladium
Palladium
Gold
Gold
Platinum
Platinum

Date Letter

2008
2008
2009
2009
2010
2010
2011
2011
2012
2012
2013
2013

International Convention Marks

Silver
Silver
Palladium
Palladium
Gold
Gold
Platinum
Platinum

This mark is used by countries, including the United Kingdom, that are signatories to the International Convention on Hallmarking and is recognised by all those countries.

* Exemption Weights
Articles above these weights must be hallmarked.
Silver: 7.78 grams.
Palladium: 1.00 gram.
Gold: 1.00 gram.
Platinum: 0.50 gram.

What should I do if my item is not hallmarked?

If you have a concern regarding hallmarking contact your local Trading Standards Authority. Fro more information visit www.bis.gov.uk/britishhallmarkingcouncil.