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What’s in a hallmark?

June 28, 2019

We are very lucky here in the UK to have such legislation as the humble hallmark. It gives the new owner a guarantee that what they have just bought has in fact been independently verified as such by the assay office and that the metal you are purchasing is of that sold to you.

Birmingham Assay office was founded in 1773 to safeguard those dealing with the sale and purchase of precious metals, but what does the hallmark mean to you? I mean really mean to you as the consumer?

Let’s run through the stamps you can see on the wedding ring we recently made. The 500 signifies that the ring is made from Palladium where the alloy mix is 500 parts palladium per 1000 this gives us the 500. The next stamp we see signifies that the assay office in Birmingham (anchor) have tested and stamped this item, then we have the head of Pallas Athene

That is exclusive to the palladium family of metals. Then we have the date letter which shows us that the piece was assayed in 2018 as T is the current letter for this year. The fonts and stamp outers pattern are changed so it’s easy to distinguish the varying date letters.

All the above you may have heard about before but it’s the first three letters you can see in the picture which we of course feel are the most important of the hallmarks. If your ring is lucky enough to have the “TRL” stamp this means you are buying from a jewellery firm that is a member of the NAJ and as such is sworn to the conduct and code of the National Association of Jewellers who have pledged to only deal with metals, and stones that are responsibly sourced and produces it’s creations ethically and with great pride.

There is something also missing off of our set of hallamarks and that is the lack of Import mark, this stamp is attributed to creations that have been imported. We here at the ring lab are champions of British manufacturing with all of our rings being designed and manufactured right here in the UK. This enables us to oversee the quality of our finished products and supports local UK businesses too.

We look forward to hearing from you this year with your design ideas and hope that your 2019 is a sparkly and fruitful one.

The Lab.