We understand that the world of gold selling and buying can be a bit of a minefield so we’ve created this simple guide to help you understand a bit more about Hallmarking and the value of your items.
What is a Hallmark?
Believe it or not, hallmarking has a long history dating back to the 14th Century, but the current hallmarking rules were set in the UK Hallmarking Act 1973.
A hallmark is an official mark or collection of marks created for consumer protection and to guarantee the purity or fineness of the tested items made of precious metals.
In the UK, an item must include 3 compulsory marks:
- Sponsor’s or maker’s mark: there marks are unique to every jeweller, maker, retailer or wholesaler and consist of a minimum of 2 letters surrounded in a shield.
- Metal & fineness/purity mark: This mark will indicate the type of precious metals (gold, silver, platinum and palladium depicted with different shaped frames) and the purity recorded in pars per thousand. What does this mean in terms of 9ct gold? 9ct gold is marked as 375 meaning that in 1000 parts there would be a minimum of 375 parts gold.
- Assay office mark: There are 4 authorised locations in the UK (Assay Office) to carry out Hallmarking: London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh.
The only exception to these rules is depending on the weight of the precious metal items: gold under 1 gram, silver under 7.78 grams, platinum under 0.5 gram and palladium under 1 gram can be sold without a Hallmark.
Where do you find the Hallmarks?
Hallmarks are normally found on the inside of ring shanks and wedding bands, earring posts, chain ends, clasps, tags and jump rings. As well as the traditional, stamped method, also look out for the modern, laser engraved variants of Hallmarks.
How do you know the carat value of gold?
The most commonly used markings on gold are the following:
- 999 = 24 carat
- 916 = 22 carat
- 750 = 18 carat
- 583 = 14 carat
- 375 = 9 carat
Hallmarks on gold
If you are still unsure of the carat value or the item isn’t hallmarked, not to worry! We test and validate all items once they arrive and give you your final valuation, the price you receive will be the same for hallmarked and un-hallmarked items!