The law applies to everything SOLD in the UK , regardless of where it may have been manufactured. The only exemptions are items which fall beneath the specified weight thresholds which are 1 gram for gold, 7.78 grams for silver, 0.5 grams for platinum and 1 gram for palladium.
All of my pieces of jewellery that are over the hallmarking exemption weights are fully hallmarked at the London Assay Office. My hallmark (As seen above) consists of:
- My Makers/ Sponsors Mark which is my initials <LAP>.
-Traditional Fineness Symbol which is optional but applied as standard in the London Assay Office. These symbols indicate whether the piece is Sterling Silver, Britannia Silver, Gold, Palladium or Platinum.
-Millesimal Fineness Mark which tells you how fine, or what quality, the metal is, as well as indicating the metal type. This numerical format was introduced in 1999 and shows the precious metal content of the article, expressed in parts per thousand. The Assay Office marks a piece to the lowest standard of alloy content, so it guarantees that the quality of the article is no less than the fineness indicated. The shape of the surrounding shield indicates metal type. In the Gold Fineness mark, 375 is 9 carat, 585 is 14 carat, 750 is 18 carat and 916 is 22 carat. In the Silver Fineness mark 925 is Sterling and 958 is Britannia Silver. Platinum and Palladium are both 950 with different surrounding shield shapes.
-The Assay Office Mark which tells you which Assay Office tested and hallmarked the article. In my case this is the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office in London which has the historical image of the Leopards Head. This continues to be internationally recognised as the stamp of approval and guarantee of quality from the renowned home of hallmarking. The leopard's head mark of London has been used by some of the finest craftsmen in history, on some of the most prestigious and celebrated works.
-Date Letter Mark. A non-compulsory element, the date letter changes annually on January 1st. The font, case, and shield shape all change so each can only indicate one specific year. All date punches are destroyed at the end of the year. As this is non compulsory it is not added to my pieces but can easily be added if it is required when the hallmarking process takes place.