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A hallmark:

  • Is a set of component marks applied to articles of the precious metals gold, silver, platinum or palladium.

  • Means that the article has been independently tested.

  • Guarantees that it conforms to all legal standards of purity (fineness).

  • Guarantees provenance by telling us where the piece was hallmarked, what the article is made from, and who sent the article for hallmarking. 


The standard hallmark formation is horizontal with minimal spacing between the marks. Other formations of these hallmarks, often called "bespoke" or "display marks" are available.

The Full Traditional Hallmark comprises five marks:

  • Sponsor's mark

  • Traditional fineness mark

  • Millesimal fineness mark

  • Assay Office mark

  • Date letter mark

What do the Symbols of the Full UK Hallmark Represent?

Sponsor's Mark

(Also known as Maker's Mark.)  This is the registered mark of the company or person that submitted the article for hallmarking. It comprises of the initials chosen by that person or company inside a surrounding shield shape. The shield shape varies, and a minimum of two, and maximum of five initials must be included. Every one is unique. 

Traditional Fineness Symbol

The traditional fineness symbol is an optional part of the hallmark but applied as standard at the Goldsmiths' Company Assay Office.

Millesimal Fineness Mark

This mark tells you how fine, or what quality, the metal is, as well as indicating the metal type. This numerical format was made compulsory in 1999 and shows the precious metal content of the article, expressed in parts per thousand.  We mark a piece to the lowest standard of precious metal, so it guarantees that the quality of the whole article is no less than the fineness indicated. The shape of the surrounding shield indicates metal type. 

Assay Office Mark

This mark tells you which Assay Office tested and hallmarked the article. 

The historic image of the leopard’s head, the town mark for London, and the mark of the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office, 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 mark, 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.

Robert's Fine Jewellery maker's mark
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LAO stands for Londay Assay Office

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Left to right: Sterling silver, Britannia silver, gold, palladium, platinum

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Example fineness marks - left to right: platinum, palladium, 18 carat gold, sterling silver

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Left to right: London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh.

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Date Letters: 2019 to 2024 shown

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