What is a Hallmark?
With its origins in fifteenth-century London, the word “Hallmark” was associated with the original Silversmiths of the day who were required to take their Silver products to Goldsmiths Hall to be assayed and marked for authenticity. Silver had to meet a specific standard to be awarded the Leopards Head fineness symbol which even today remains the symbol of the London Assay office. It is a legal requirement in the UK to sell only hallmarked precious metal based products. Silver objects (>7.78gms), Gold (>1gm), Platinum (>0.5gm) which fall under respective metal categories should be hallmarked before offered for sale.
It’s impossible to detect a metal’s precious content visually. So instead, a small extract of Silver has to be tested (technically referred to as assaying) to ensure that the overall content meets the required standards. While the techniques for assaying have developed and changed over the centuries, the principle of Hallmarking remains the same. It is the ultimate consumer protection, guaranteeing the quality of silver content in the goods being purchased.
Silver, like many other precious metals, is very rarely used in its pure, natural form, but rather is alloyed with other metals. In terms of Sterling Silver, the kind used in Royal Touch London’s curated collections of everyday treasures, that level is 925 parts silver in 1000. You will, therefore, see the Hallmark 925, denoting the quality of the Sterling Silver being used in our designs. There are 800,850,950 parts silver in 1000 as welll hallmarked accordingly.
This visual representation shows the hallmarking’s associated with Royal Touch London products. Below dealer’s notice is required to be displayed by Hallmarking Act 1973, UK for all dealers to sell precious metal based products in the UK.