Stamping and hallmarking

Though the use of the word ‘hallmark’ may be permissible in the USA
and probably is used in many other countries, technically you are
only stamping or marking your work with your personal stamp and, if
you are using precious metals the requisite purity stamp. 925, 375,
585, 750 In Britain however, where hallmarking is still done after
mandatory purity checks at one of the ‘Goldsmith’ Halls’ where the
stamping is done. If work does not ‘come up to scratch’ it may be
crushed before being returned to you.

It would not be permissible to cast your purity mark in your work.

I am not sure of the latest rules as I live and work in Australia.
All gold over 1 gram and silver over 5 grams has to be posted to the
’hall’ where it is tested and marked.

There are penalties for violations and precious and other metals will
not be marked if they are soldered together and in that case, say,
silver cannot be called silver in a shop, it must only be called
white metal in any trade description.

Though this is an annoying, time consuming, and expensive exercise,
it was one of the first examples of consumer protection going back to
about 1300.

David Cruickshank (Australia)

Hi David,

I am in Australia & would like to know where I can send my product
to be “Hallmarked” and the approximate cost.

Bit harsh if they Crush non complying products, I thought they would
Down grade the hallmark EG:- 22K down to 18K if it didn’t reach 22K.

Also do they mark the year as in England?

Thanks in advance
Phil Seghers

I am in Australia & would like to know where I can send my product
to be "Hallmarked" and the approximate cost. 

I don’t believe there is any such thing in Australia. You can
register with one of the UK Assay Offices or Dublin and get the same
service as a native. My mark is registered with the Edinburgh Assay
Office. The fees are not too bad, but the shipping and time delay
will be a pretty big reason not to do it. I don’t do it very often
and when I do it is for UK customers.

Also do they mark the year as in England? 

Yes they do. Same in Edinburgh and Dublin.

I have often wondered why in the countries where there is no
official assay system chartered by the government, that no private
assay office system has set up shop? Think along the lines of GIA. In
the UK it is touted as such a valuable consumer protection plan. I
honestly think it has more to do with culture and tradition because
other places get along just fine without it. If assay-hallmarking was
really in demand by the jewelry consumers of the world, the private
sector would find a way to supply it.

Stephen Walker
Andover, NY

I like the idea of a UK office hallmarking jewellery. However it’s

We don’t hallmark in Australia (as such), we use a precious metal
marking system (and even that’s not mandatory).

The JAA has a register of makers marks, and I believe they put out a
"JAA" stamp.

Regards Charles A.