History of Hallmarking

Hallmarking – the oldest form of consumer protection.

The concept of hallmarking itself dates to nearly 400 AD and was discovered on silver objects from the Byzantine period.

The purpose of a hallmark is to certify the metal purity of the item, so you know what quality of gold, silver, or platinum you are buying. Testing precious metals for purity is called “assaying”. Therefore, the places where hallmarking is done are called Assay Offices.

The four components of a hallmark are: the sponsor or maker's mark, the standard mark, the assay office mark, and the date letter for the year. Hallmark identification should answer four important questions - where; what; when; who. This ensures that consumers are protected from forgeries.