HALLMARKING

WHAT IS A HALLMARK?

A Hallmark is a set of component marks which verify a products material. Precious metals are rarely used in their purest form, instead being mixed with other metals to make them more durable. Hallmarks are only applied to precious metals Platinum, Gold, Palladium and Silver.

It isn't possible to detect an article's precious metal content by sight or touch. Therefore, it is a legal requirement for items being sold as precious metal, over a certain weight, to bear a Hallmark.

Hallmarks are applied to precious metals to indicate the amount of pure metal in a product. Traditionally applied by striking with a punch, Hallmarks can now also be applied using lasers.

It is illegal to sell a precious metal product without a Hallmark and non-precious items are not permitted to have a Hallmark. Items with just 925 are not hallmarked as they are missing the other marks.

Something being sold without a Hallmark is breaking the law and there is a high chance the item may not be made from precious metal.

Every Serge DeNimes ring, necklace & bracelet has been verified by the Goldsmiths Company Assay Office, London, which means you can trust that every item sold to you is what we are saying it is as they have provided independent quality assurance. Earrings are also made from 925 Sterling Silver however they are under the weight limit and therefore do not need to be tested and hallmarked. Our factory test these before shipping as part of our quality control.

WHAT DOES A HALLMARK LOOK LIKE?

SPONSORS MARK
Shows the company that made the product. Ours is 'SDN'.

FINENESS MARK
The symbol shows that the product is made from sterling silver.

MILLESIMAL FINENESS MARK
This shows the purity of the material.

ASSAY OFFICE MARK
This is the mark of the London Assay Office.

YEAR MARK
This shows the year that the article was marked.

There are 2 types of Hallmark;

The Traditional Hallmark is all 5 marks

The Minimal Hallmark is just 3 of the marks. The sponsors mark, the millesimal mark & the year

THE PROCESS

1. First, the article must be tested to see what materials it is made of. There are a few different ways to do this, shown here is the X-Ray Fluorescent Spectrometer test.

2. Another method is the 'touch test', this technique dates back to 500BC. The article is gently rubbed against a 'touchstone' made from basonite. This leaves a small mark on the stone. Chemicals are applied to the mark and from the reaction that takes place, an initial indication of the fineness is determined. This is the origin of the phrase 'coming up to scratch'.

THE PROCESS

1. First, the article must be tested to see what materials it is made of. There are a few different ways to do this, shown here is the X-Ray Fluorescent Spectrometer test.

2. Another method is the 'touch test', this technique dates back to 500BC. The article is gently rubbed against a 'touchstone' made from basonite. This leaves a small mark on the stone. Chemicals are applied to the mark and from the reaction that takes place, an initial indication of the fineness is determined. This is the origin of the phrase 'coming up to scratch'.

3. Most of our products are Hallmarked using lasers, however this specific piece (Silver Traditional Hallmark Bangle) has been designed to be Hand Struck. Handmarking is the most traditional method of Hallmarking and is carried out using a punch and hammer. This hallmark will last a lifetime.