UK Hallmarks


We apply the Full Traditional UK Hallmark as standard.

The Full Traditional Hallmark comprises five marks:

  • Sponsor's mark
  • Traditional fineness mark
  • Millesimal fineness mark
  • Assay Office mark
  • Date letter mark

Unless otherwise stated this is the standard mark we apply.

 

The Full Traditional Mark: L-R: Sponsor's Mark, Traditional Fineness, Millesimal Fineness, Assay Office, Date Letter

The UK Compulsory Hallmark comprises of only three of these component marks: Sponsor's mark, Millesimal fineness mark and Assay Office mark.

The date letter and the traditional fineness marks are no longer compulsory components of the hallmark. However, we believe that the date letter is a very important component of the hallmark, as it is the easiest way to date an item and research has shown that most of our customers still want to see the traditional fineness mark on the hallmark.

Unlike some of the other UK assay offices, we do not charge any extra to apply the two non-compulsory marks. Those only wanting the compulsory marks applied should indicate this on the hallnote.  

Read more at our What is a Hallmark? page.  

Read more about the other legally recognised marks in the UK, International Convention marks, and Commemorative marks here.

What do the Symbols of the Full UK Hallmark Represent?

Sponsor's Mark

(Also known as Maker's Mark.)  This is the registered mark of the company or person that submitted the article for hallmarking. It is formed of initials of that person or company inside a shield shape. The shield shape varies, and a minimum of two initials must be included.  Every one is unique.

When you create your punch with us, you join a register of makers stretching back centuries. Register for your punch here.

Sponsor's Mark. This example is the London Assay Office's own sponsor's mark.

Traditional Fineness Symbol

The traditional fineness symbol is an optional part of the hallmark but applied as standard in the London Assay Office. There is also a Sterling Silver symbol unique to Scotland, not shown here.

L-R: Sterling Silver, Britannia Silver, Gold, Palladium, Platinum

Millesimal Fineness Mark

This mark tells you how fine, or what quality, the metal is, as well as indicating the metal type. This numerical format was introduced in 1999 and shows the precious metal content of the article, expressed in parts per thousand.  We mark a piece to the lowest standard of alloy content, so it guarantees that the quality of the article is no less than the fineness indicated. 

The shape of the surrounding shield indicates metal type. In the Gold Fineness mark, 375 is 9 carat, 585 is 14 carat, 750 is 18 carat and 916 is 22 carat. In the Silver Fineness mark 925 is Sterling and 958 is Britannia Silver.

Example Fineness Marks, L-R: Platinum, Palladium, Gold (18 Carat), Silver (Sterling)

Assay Office Mark

This mark tells you which Assay Office tested and hallmarked the article. 

The historic image of the leopard’s head, the town mark for London, and the mark of the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office, continues to be internationally recognised as the stamp of approval and guarantee of quality from the renowned home of hallmarking.

The leopard's head mark of London has been used by some of the finest craftsmen in history, on some of the most prestigious and celebrated works. Download a feature article on the leopard from the Goldsmiths' Company Review 2014-2015.   

Read more about the history of the Goldsmiths' Company here and more about the history of Goldsmiths' Hall here

Assay Office Marks, top l-r: London, Birmingham; bottom l-r: Sheffield, Edinburgh

Date Letter Mark

A non-compulsory element, the date letter changes annually on January 1st. The font, case, and shield shape all change so each can only indicate one specific year.  All date punches are destroyed at the end of the year.

Date Letter, L-R: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Commemorative Marks

These are marks that are struck to commemorate a special event, and are applied as the last mark in the hallmark sequence.

The most recent mark was for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, as pictured.

Whenever there is a new commemorative mark, we will be sure to tell you about it.

Image, top to bottom:

1935 Silver Jubilee

1953 Coronation

1977 Silver Jubilee

2000 Millennium

2002 Golden Jubilee

2012 Diamond Jubilee