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What is Hallmarking and why is it important?

What is Hallmarking and why is it important?

You wouldn’t want to buy a piece of jewellery that isn’t what it says it is, would you? You want to be sure of what carat gold or the purity of silver you are purchasing.

Jewellery is to be hallmarked by law in the U.K (when over a certain weight - for gold it’s 1g, silver is 7.78g and platinum 0.5g), so you know what quality of gold, silver or platinum you are buying. It’s worth knowing what you’re looking for when it comes to hallmarks, so we’ve broken it down for you.

Hallmarking meaning

A hallmark is a stamp added to jewellery to certify the purity of gold, silver, platinum or palladium used. 

It can usually be found inside the piece of jewellery or on the small tag, off the clasp on the chain.

There are Assay Offices in London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh. Each has its own mark:

London: Lion

Birmingham: Anchor

Sheffield: Rose

Edinburgh: Castle

At ANUKA,  we use the Birmingham Assay Office as it is our nearest but also where I studied.

What do the marks mean?

There are 3 required marks:

  1. A sponsors or makers’ mark (e.g. we use FK for our founder's name Francesca Kippax).
  2. A metal and purity (fineness) mark (e.g. 925 is used for hallmarking sterling silver).
  3. An Assay Office mark  (e.g. our items are hallmarked at the Birmingham Assay Office, which is symbolised with an anchor).

Why is hallmarking important?

Aside from confirming the quality and purity of a piece of jewellery and the markers mark, hallmarks are proof to consumers that they can be assured of the quality of precious metal they are purchasing. It helps people to steer away from fakes and fraud.

Does all jewellery have to be hallmarked?

All items being sold as gold, silver, platinum or palladium in the UK (when over a certain weight - for gold it’s 1g, silver is 7.78g and platinum 0.5g), must be hallmarked to confirm that they meet the legal standard. This cannot be done by the manufacturer or importer; goods must be submitted to one of the four UK Assay Offices, or an Assay Office belonging to the International Convention.

Hallmarking at ANUKA

We hallmark our items at the Birmingham Assay Office. Stamped with our maker's mark (FK) to assure customers of its quality.

Although hallmarking identifies the maker and proof of metal and carat, it does not always prove origin. We always advise you to check the ethos and origin of any jewellery you buy. 

You can check the origin of all of our products under the ‘ethics’ tab on each product page.

You can find out more about hallmarking on the Birmingham Assay Office website.


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