What is a Hallmark?
By Rubina Posh February 23,2017
A Hallmark is an official mark used by the British Assay Offices to certify their standard of precious metals purity. These include five marks but can sometimes have an additional mark known as a Common Control Mark – CCM.
Makers mark, quality mark (gold, silver or platinum), gold purity, city mark & date letter.
Makers Mark – Who made it;
Quality Mark – What precious metal was used;
Purity Mark – The percentage of the precious metal used;
City or Town Mark – where it was made and
Date Letter – When it was made
Generally, when only three marks are seen the markers mark and the date letter are the ones that have been left out.
Stamps/Markings Seen on Jewellery
The stamps/markings are typically up to three digits or one to two digits followed by “ct” or “k”.
The most common marks used are the following:
· 8ct 333
· 9ct 375
· 10ct 416 or 417
· 12ct or 500
· 14ct 585 can also be 583 & 584
· 15ct or 625
· 17ct or 700
· 18K 750
· 21k 875
· 22K 916 & 917
· 23K 958
· 24K 999 0r 999.9
· Silver is usually stamped 925 can also be 800
· Platinum is as follows: PLAT; Pt; 950; 900; 850; 750 and sometimes 700
· The logo/motif of the CCM is the scales with the metal purity in the centre and placed on one of four different backgrounds.
Visit https://theassayoffice.co.uk/help-with-hallmarks/international-convention-marks to see the different images.
The Hallmarking Convention & Common Control Mark – CCM
The Hallmarking Convention was established to authenticate the precious metal content in jewellery, silverware and watchcases and to protect everyone involved in the buying and selling of the jewellery item – from manufactures to consumers / customers (maintaining fair trade and consumer protection).
This was done using the Common Control Mark – CCM which guarantees that the purity of the metal is at least that indicated by the fineness mark such as: 750, 375 etc.
The CCM is recognised worldwide. It serves as an additional protection and quality mark to all jewellery and once the jewellery item has the CCM no further testing is required for the identification of the metal purity. “…Each member country agrees to allow goods marked with this mark to be imported without further testing and marking if such articles would normally qualify for its domestic market…”
The CCM is “…the first and only international hallmark and has the same legal status as a national hallmark. The CCM is applied by national Assay Offices, designated under the terms of the Convention, to articles of gold, silver and platinum after the fineness of the alloys has been checked in accordance with agreed testing methods.”