Precious metal hallmarking is the oldest consumer protection system in the world. Hallmarks are marks on your jewellery or silverware that are your guarantee of the quality of the precious metal from which the item is made.
Additionally, the marks tell you who made or ‘sponsored*‘ the item, which Assay Office tested it and the date on which it was marked, although the date letter has been optional since 1998.
All pieces of precious metal over a certain weight which are described or sold as silver, gold, platinum or palladium must be hallmarked, by law, in Great Britain.
The items are independently tested and marked at one of four Assay Offices; Birmingham, London, Sheffield or Edinburgh.
All of the pieces that I make are marked at the Birmingham Assay Office with my unique makers mark ‘MJP’. This unique code assures you of the identity of the maker and the quality of the metal.
* ‘Sponsored’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘made by’ as the item of jewellery in question could have been imported into the UK, having been made abroad, in which case the importer, perhaps a shop, will have had it tested and marked.