There are always big burning questions when it comes to Hallmarks. Why? What? Where?

To those of you who are clueless, let us clue you in.

Let’s commence at the beginning and to the first trail of hallmarks. They date back to the 4th Century AD where silver bars were found marked, under the authority of the Emperor Augustinian, around 350 AD. That’s way back, let’s forward a little to England 1300, it was King Edward I who enacted a statute requiring that all silver articles must meet the sterling silver standard (92.5% pure silver). And subsequently, it was in 1327 King Edward who instituted the law on hallmarks accordingly introducing the ‘Goldsmiths Company’ marking both the beginning of their existence and the origin of the English word hallmark.

Hallmark collection Maya Magal London

So, before this turns into a history lesson let’s dive into what you really need to know. What is a hallmark? It is an official mark or series of marks found on metals to certify noble metals, platinum, gold, and silver. All those metals can be found within our collections, we sell only the good stuff ;) nothing that will be leaving you with unwanted marks. 

Here in the UK, the hallmark is made up of several inscriptions

-    Type of metal
-    Maker/sponsors mark 
-    What Assay office it was marked in
-    Year of making (now optional)

Hallmark story design Maya Magal

 

Fun fact the UK year of marking commences on May 19th, the feast day of Saint Dunstan, Patron saint of gold and silversmiths. For those of you who have no idea, he was a Catholic Saint who was known for his skill in metallurgy, that’s 2 facts, albeit I don’t know if there were any fun.  
We got side-tracked again, let’s get back to hallmarks as we know them and where you can find them. They can be found by the clasp of chains & bracelets, inside with rings, and by the bail of a pendant. However, within our Hallmark collection, the marks are not hidden away. Maya was inspired by the mark and created a collection where the Hallmark is the predominant feature of each piece, using oversized hallmarks to craft a design on the front of pendants, bracelets and rings. Check out the new collection here.
Hallmark collection solid gold 9ct

 

It is important to note that Hallmarks are vital in order to be able to determine if what you are buying is actually what it claims to be. Lucky for those in the UK it is a legal requirement to hallmark precious metals.

Go on, check your jewellery see if you can find the hallmark and recognise what the inscriptions tell you about your pieces and don’t forget to check out our Solid Gold Hallmark Collection.

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