Getting my own hallmark registered was definitely a highlight of my silversmithing life so far.
Hallmarking is both a British law and tradition, it dates back to the 1300s when Edward I was King of England. A hallmark consists of a series of marks applied to articles of the precious metals platinum, gold, palladium and silver, they mean that the article has been independently tested and conforms to all legal standards of purity.
My work is tested in the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office in London and is hallmarked with 5 punch marks consisting of:
- My very own 'tiny' tinysilver mark - tiny
- Traditional fineness mark - the lion
- Metal and fineness (purity) mark - 925
- Assay Office mark - the lepoard
- Date mark - o/p/q/r (so far!)
It's so lovely to think that once a piece of jewellery has been hallmarked it becomes a little piece of history.
British law states that any article of silver weighing over 7.78g must be hallmarked. So if you order any of my heavier bangles you will be able to see my hallmark for yourself, and hopefully understand what it all means.