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Hallmarking And Engraving

What is Hallmarking?

Hallmarking is a legal requirement in the UK to ensure proof of authenticity. This is typically the last stage in the manufacturing process. A hallmark is made up of a series of marks presented as laser engravings the surface of the metal. It can be thought of as a unique ‘birthmark’; giving your piece of jewellery a distinguished place of origin. It guarantees that you are getting the exact purity of metal that you have purchased. The symbols of a hallmark give the following information:

  • The guaranteed standard of fineness
  • The Assay office at which the article was tested and marked
  • The year in which the article was tested and marked
  • A sponsors mark

Here at Durham Rose we send your pieces to the trusted Sheffield Assay office for certification and hallmarking. Other locations for hallmarking are in Edinburgh, London and Birmingham each represented differently in the hallmark by distinguishing symbols


The Standard Of Fineness

This relates to the quality of type of metal, for example the purity of the precious metal content. Each metal is measured in parts of 1000 i.e. 750 parts per 1000 is equivalent to the 18 carat gold standard. The metal alloy must be at least 750 parts per 1000 to be marked as 18 carat gold. If the metal were 9 carat gold the reading would have to be above 375 per 1000.

In the UK fine jewellery is usually made to the fineness of 18ct gold which is 750. The standard UK marking for silver is sterling, 925. The Platinum mark would be 950 along with Palladium


Platinum Standard Marks


gold standard marks


palladium standards


silver standard marks

The Assay Office Mark

This symbol shows which assay office marked and tested the article. As you can see from the symbols below. Birmingham is represented by an anchor, Edinburgh is represented by a castle and London is represented by a leopard’s head. Here at Durham Rose we send your pieces to the trusted Sheffield Assay office for certification and hallmarking, represented by an English rose.

assay office marks

Year Of Hallmark

The date an article was hallmark is advertised used date letter. Examples below:

Optional Marks - Date Letters

The Sponsors Mark

To have a sponsor’s mark you have to register with the assay office. This is usually the initials of the maker/designer but it could also be the manufacturer or retailer. We at Durham Rose use a ‘DR’.

Optional Traditional Mark

The traditional mark tells you which metal the piece is made of.

Traditional Marks

What is Engraving?

To add further sentiment to your piece of jewellery, you may wish to include some engraving on the inside of your band. This can be approved in a variety of fonts and we can even engrave your personal hand writing or an image. Most of our clients have a significant date or place that is completely unique to the occasion and we would be delighted in bringing this to life for you.

The majority of our engraving is laser engraved. This allows for precision is such as small area, however sometimes we need to rely on the steady hand and expertise of hand engraving, if the laser engraver can’t focus for example. Laser engraving is a quick and effective process. Using a bonding agent you can customise your piece when heat from the laser bonds with the marking agent to the metal resulting in a permanent mark which we refer to as the engraving.


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Get in touch with one of our incredible ring designers

Our team and their wealth of experience will seamlessly guide you through the design process and create a unique, one off timeless piece of jewellery.

Get in touch with one of our incredible ring designers

We've trodden the path hundreds of times before so whether you have a clear idea about your requirements or are just looking for more information, let us guide you seamlessly through the journey by getting in touch today.