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Hallmarking Steps


 

Simple steps to hallmarking

To sell precious metal articles legally in the UK, you need to have them hallmarked.  Our aim is to provide a simple, practical guidelines which simplify the hallmarking process from registration, submitting your work and payment options, to receiving your work back with a beautifully-crafted London hallmark.

 Register with us | Complete the Hallnote | Package your articles | Deliver your articles to us | Payment

Speed of Service|Locations|Bespoke & Display Marks

Second Hand|Change of Use|Additions Mark 

Register With Us

To start hallmarking, first you need to register here. On registering with us, you select your sponsor's mark, then, either order your punch, or choose to have your work hallmarked by laser.

If you are a full, or part time student, you can take advantage of our exclusive student registration package. You will need to send proof of your student status to apply. 

The Sponsor's Mark

When you register with us, you are registering a sponsor’s mark - the first symbol in the hallmark. Each sponsors’ mark is unique and therefore provides a traceable link to the source of an article.

You can choose laser only, or laser and punch registration.  Unlike other Assay Offices we don't charge extra to apply the hallmark by laser.  If you select a laser-only package it means your hallmark will be applied by laser every time you send work in.  (You could contact us to have a punch made of your sponsor’s mark at a later date, but this would be an additional purchase.) Read more about the different methods of hallmarking.

A ten year registration fee costs £72 (including VAT) and is renewable after 10 years. This fee includes free laser set up for standard designs. 

Should you wish to purchase a punch so you can have your hallmark struck you can buy a punch additionally. Cost depends on quantity of initials requested - see below.

You can register online here and will be guided through the choices. 

 

A specially commissioned beaker from 2010 - showing multiple sponsor's marks as decoration.

Swan Neck Punch (top) and Standard Punch (below)

Selecting the correct punch for your work 

All punches are manufactured by our engineers in the workshop within Goldsmiths’ Hall. They can be cut on two different types of shank. These are known as “straight” and “swan neck” and are finished by hand to excellent precision.

As a guide, a swan neck punch should be ordered if you make rings. The crook in the neck enables a mark to be applied neatly inside the curve. This type of punch can also be used on flat surfaces, making it the preferred choice if you are only ordering one punch.

Swan neck punches cannot be made larger than 1mm in height. Straight punches are used on items with a flat surface where the markers have a clear line of sight, which may include silverware, cufflinks and pendants. 

The size of the punch should reflect the type of articles to be hallmarked, and choosing the correct size is paramount. A large punch will be unsuitable for delicate items as the punching process will displace the metal.

Sizes start from 0.5mm and go up to 6mm in height.  Read more on our methods page.

Renewal of Your Registration

Your registration expires after 10 years. In your online account a notification will appear 6 months prior to its expiry. Please follow the links there to renew your registration. If you renew after the deadline full registration costs will apply. Your punch will be destroyed if not renewed.

Complete the Hallnote

Once you have registered, and you are ready to submit your work to us to hallmark, you can either do so online, OR you will need to complete a paper hallnote.  It’s your “order form” for us, describes the articles and metal, and gives you an area to write any special instructions you have for us.  

You can complete the hallnote online (the information you enter goes directly to our database, and generates a document to print off and include with your packet), or use a paper form, but you must submit one with your articles. Complete it as fully and clearly as possible.

Submit your online hallnote in your Account section.  The website guides you though the step-by-step process but you can read a guide on the website here. You can also track and pay for your packets in your Account area.  

Or, you can download a paper hallnote, and a Special Requests Form should you need one. Read our Guide to Completing Your Hallnote.

Please note that each metal, fineness, sponsor's mark and marking method need to be submitted with its own separate paper hallnote.  Remember, one metal, one standard, one hallnote! This reduces the likelihood of error and helps improve turnaround times. 

You will need to separate newly manufactured goods from second hand goods, and give separate hallnotes for those too. 

Finally, special assays and smelting requests need to be submitted on separate hallnotes. 

Package Your Articles

In order to keep your costs to a minimum, please ensure you wrap items together as much as possible in a large piece of tissue paper or bubble wrap.  Try and use the minimum amount of packaging without compromising the safety and security of your work.  Ideally items should be rolled in tissue or in ring trays for rings, earrings, pendants, etc. Bangles should be placed in cardboard rolls. We are on hand to offer advice so if you are unsure of anything please get in touch.

Bespoke & Display Hallmarks

Under normal circumstances, it’s left to the discretion of the Assay Office to place the hallmark as appropriate, according to the product type, taking into account construction and the stage of manufacture when submitted – we have default positions in which we place the hallmark.

We have centuries of years of knowledge in this area, with in-house tool making facilities if required. However, if you have a specific size or place you want the mark placed, you need to request this on the hallnote.  We also recommend that you use a non-permanent marker to mark the position before submission. Please bear in mind that struck marks need to be supported with a tool in some way, so it is not always possible to mark in the desired position.

Specific Hallmarking formations can be found here, enabling you to request accordingly.

By Post – Please send all your work by Royal Mail Special delivery to our main office at Goldsmiths’ Hall.

By Hand – you can submit work to us by hand to our main office at Goldsmiths' Hall or the Greville Street sub-office.

By courier – You can use a secure courier service to delivery and collect your work. You will be responsible for arranging collection and delivery as well as any costs incurred.

Deliver all component parts where items are incomplete/unassembled. Always inform the counter team which service you would like – verbally and in writing on your hallnote. When posting your articles to us, you must write which service you require on the outside of the packet so we can prioritise it accordingly.

It is your responsibility to get packets to the Goldsmiths' Company Assay Office. Any charges for delivery of packets will not be accepted unless agreed in advance. Items sent by post will incur a small handling fee.

Before submitting your articles please refer to our terms and conditions.

Package Your Articles

Package your work in the least amount of packaging possible without compromising the safety and security of your work. 

A charge is applied where the packaging used adds additional time to the standard handling of a packet. "Handling" is something which may need to be executed before the hallmark can be applied e.g. opening a poly bag, removing tissue wrapping, sliding butterflies off earrings, untying or untangling items. Two or more handling procedures incur a charge.  Check the price list for full information. 

We are on hand to offer advice so if you are unsure of anything please get in touch.

Deliver Your Articles To Us

By Post – Please send all your work by Royal Mail Special delivery to our main office at Goldsmiths' Hall.  

By Hand – you can submit work to us by hand to our main office at Goldsmiths' Hall or the Greville Street sub-office.

By Courier – You can use a secure courier service to delivery and collect your work. You will be responsible for arranging collection and delivery as well as any costs incurred.  

If you are sending someone on your behalf to collect your work, and they do not have your receipt, please email Goldsmiths' Hall Logistics or Greville Street Logistics with the packet number and name of the courier or person collecting. They will need to show ID. 

 

In all instances, deliver all metal component parts where items are incomplete/unassembled.

It is your responsibility to get packets to the Goldsmiths' Company Assay Office. Any charges for delivery of packets will not be accepted unless agreed in advance. Items sent by post will incur a small handling fee - see price list in Downloads area. 

Before submitting your articles please refer to our terms and conditions.

Payment

You need to pay for your hallmarking before we release your articles to you. If submitting your work by post you will receive an email alert when your articles can be paid for.  

The most straightforward way to do so is by paying online in your Account section.   

If you submit your packet online, you can even pay on submission of the articles, so you don't have to wait until it is hallmarked to pay.  Please note, if additional services are required during the assay/hallmark process, further charges will be incurred.

Alternatively, you can pay by card when you collect your work.

To apply for a Credit account, please contact us for more information. 

Choose your time

One Hour Service | Same Day Service | Next Day 'Early Hall' Service | 5 Day Guarantee

 

 

Standard turnaround for our hallmarking service is typically 5 working days - however work may take longer in times of high demand. You can have your work marked quicker by using a Priority Service - One Hour, Same Day, Next Day (aka. Early Hall), or Guaranteed 5 Day (online only).

If you choose to have laser engraving on your priority packets, this may increase the time it takes for us to complete your work overall, depending on the complexity of your request.

One Hour Service

Get up to five items hallmarked within one hour.

  • Items can be laser or struck marked.  If you would like a struck mark, you must take your work to the office which holds your punch
  • Logos, engraving and bespoke marks incur additional charges – they will be processed as a priority but the completion time cannot be guaranteed
  • Available at Goldsmiths’ Hall and Greville Street
  • Not available for packets submitted via post
  • Cost: £70.00 for up to five items
  • Latest submission time 4pm
  • T&Cs apply

 

Next Day Service 

Up to 10 items at Greville Street and up to 30 items at Goldsmiths' Hall.

NB: You must inform the Greville Street team if your packet contains over 10 items as this may delay its processing and result in your packet being transferred to Goldsmiths’ Hall to be marked. 

  • Items can be laser or struck marked
  • Logos, engraving and bespoke marks incur additional charges – they will be processed as a priority but the completion time cannot be guaranteed
  • It is available by post – we send your consignment back via Special Delivery on the day of receipt
  • Drop your packet at Goldsmiths’ Hall or Greville Street and it will be ready for collection by 4.30pm the next day 
  • Cost: 50% on top of the standard hallmarking charges
  • T&Cs apply

 

Same Day Service

Get up to ten items hallmarked within the day.

  • Items can be laser or struck marked
  • Logos, engraving and bespoke marks incur additional charges – they will be processed as a priority but the completion time cannot be guaranteed
  • Available at Goldsmiths’ Hall and Greville Street
  • Not available for packets submitted via post
  • Items brought in to The Hall or Greville Street by noon will be ready for collection by 4.30pm
  • Cost: 100% on top of the standard hallmarking charges
  • T&Cs apply

 

Guaranteed 5 Day Service

We guarantee to complete your hallmarking within 5 full working days. Up to 10 items at Greville Street and up to 500 items at Goldsmiths' Hall.

  • Items must be submitted online
  • Items can be laser or struck marked
  • Standard hallmarking only (no display marks / laser engraving / logos etc)
  • Submit your packet to Goldsmiths’ Hall or Greville Street and it will be ready 5 working days after the day of receipt
  • T&Cs apply

We offer state-of-the-art offices in three convenient London locations

Goldsmiths’ Hall

  • Our flagship office, where hallmarking began almost 700 years ago
  • Offers our full range of services  

Meet the Hall team here, and the office contact details here. Read more about the Hall itself here

Front entrance at Goldsmiths' Hall

Hatton Garden office on Greville Street

Greville Street

  • Specialises in priority hallmarking services for small quantities of items
  • Conveniently situated for the local community of Hatton Garden
  • Please note we do not accept post packets at the Greville Street office

Meet the team here, and the office contact details here.

The Greville Street Team

Heathrow

  • Provides a premium hallmarking service from country of origin to plane to distributor with greater efficiency and lower security risks for importers and exporters
  • This service is operated in conjunction with Brinks
  • Use of this office is by prior arrangement – please contact Customer Service

Meet the team here, and the office contact details here.

 

Services for Importers and Distributors

Goods that are shipped from abroad can be sent directly from the supplier to Goldsmiths' Hall, speeding up the supply chain and eliminating unnecessary transport costs.

Goods will be checked against the invoice or delivery note, assayed and hallmarked as normal and then forwarded to your desired destination. Direct from manufacturer to retailer. 

Alternatively importers may like to use our Heathrow office for our premium service which is run in partnership with Brinks. Contact us for more information.

Rules for Services & Submission by Site

The below tables indicate submission rules dependent on service level and site. These correspond with our Terms & Conditions. 

Goldsmiths' Hall Greville Street Heathrow
Postal Service
Customer Drop Off
Lab Services (smelt & assay) ✔ (drop off only)
International Distribution
One Hour Service ✔ (up to 5 items) ✔ (up to 5 items) ✔ (by prior arrangement)
Same Day Service ✔ (up to 10 items) ✔ (up to 10 items) ✔ (by prior arrangement)
Next Day ✔ (up to 30 items) ✔ (up to 10 items) ✔ (by prior arrangement)
Trading Standard Liaison
Tours ✔ (by prior arrangement)
Valuation
Educational Seminars ✔ (by prior arrangement)
Service Level Paper Hallnote Online Hallnote Greville Street Goldsmiths' Hall
5 Day Guarantee N/A
Standard
Next Day
Same Day
One Hour
Postal Services
Second Hand*
Change of Use
Special Assay
Service Level Standard Hallmarking Display Marks Laser Engraving Laser Logo
5 Day Guarantee
Standard
Next Day * * *
Same Day * * *
One Hour * * *
Postal Services
Second Hand
Special Assay N/A N/A N/A N/A

Packet article limits and timings by site

 

Greville Street

Service Level Maximum Packet Size Latest Submission Time Latest Completion Time
5 Day Guarentee 10 N/A 5 full working days after day of receipt
Standard 10 N/A N/A
Next Day 10** 5pm 4.30pm next working day
Same Day 10** 12pm 4.30pm same day
One Hour 5** 4pm 5pm same day
Postal Services N/A N/A N/A
Second Hand N/A N/A 5+ days dependent on complexity
Special Assay N/A N/A 5+ days dependent on service

Goldsmiths' Hall

Service Level Maximum Packet Size Latest Submission Time Latest Completion Time
5 Day Guarantee 500 N/A 5 full working days after day of receipt
Standard N/A N/A N/A
Next Day 30** 5pm 4.30pm next working day
Same Day 10** 12pm 4.30pm same day
One Hour 5** 4pm 5pm same day
Postal Services Service dependent Service dependent Service dependent
Second Hand N/A N/A 5+ days dependent on complexity
Special Assay N/A N/A 5+ days dependent on service

**packets containing larger quantities of articles than these limits will still be charged and processed as a priority packet but the delivery time cannot be guaranteed.

See also T&Cs in the downloads section here

Second Hand

The second hand item service is for items that are submitted to us where the metal or fineness is unknown, usually because the items, or part of the items, were not made by the person submitting it for hallmarking.

Often parts of the same item consist of different metals or finenesses therefore requiring additional testing. When items fit into this category the second-hand service fee in our Pricelist will apply. You can see the Pricelist in our Downloads section here.

Second hand packets cannot be processed in one hour or overnight (“Early Hall”), if you select an Early Hall service we will process your packet as a priority but do not guarantee a turnaround time.

 

Change of Use / altering already hallmarked articles

The practice of altering already hallmarked articles is becoming increasingly popular - below are our guidelines on this process and detail on the various outcomes. Where an item already bearing a hallmark is changed on purpose, ie. a spoon is shaped to become a bangle, it still needs to be submitted to an Assay Office for verification to ensure its provenance is detailed.The law as outlined in The Hallmarking act states: ”.. it shall be an offence for any person to make an addition, alteration or repair to an article bearing approved hallmarks, except in accordance with the written consent of an assay office.”We call the process of granting consent for alterations, “Change of Use”.There are four possible outcomes:

  1. If you change an item from one form to another, without adding any metal to the product, we will process this as a change of use packet, assaying the metal, ensuring the hallmark remains valid, adding a reference number to the piece and assigning this number onto a change of use certificate which can accompany the piece when it is sold.  

  2. If you add metal to the original item (there are weight restrictions as stated in 5(4) of the Hallmarking Act* Pg. 7) and change its use then we assay and hallmark this in its own right, charging a second-hand fee, cross-hatching over the existing mark, leaving the provenance of the original hallmark and applying a new hallmark on to the piece at the appropriate standard.

  3. If you add metal to the original item (there are weight restrictions as stated in 5(4) of the Hallmarking Act* Pg. 7) which has not had its use changed then an additions mark can be applied.

  4. If there is no hallmark on an item, irrelevant of whether the use of it has been changed or had parts added, then it needs to be submitted for a new hallmark and charged as a second-hand item as the standard of the metal would be unknown.  This also applies if the hallmark is deemed illegible by us.

*You can get a copy of the Hallmarking Act in the Downloads section here.

Additions Mark Formation

The additions mark is used when new metal is added to an already hallmarked item and consists of either:

1. Sponsor’s mark, traditional fineness symbol, millesimal fineness and date letter where the existing Hallmark is a London mark

2. Sponsor’s mark, date letter, traditional fineness symbol and millesimal fineness where the existing Hallmark is a London mark.

1. Sponsor’s mark, traditional fineness symbol, millesimal fineness and date letter where the existing Hallmark is a London mark

2. Sponsor’s mark, date letter, traditional fineness symbol and millesimal fineness where the existing Hallmark is a London mark.