In the United Kingdom any person that deals in precious metals must display a Hallmarking Act 1973 Notice as approved by the British Hallmarking Council.
At present all silver and gold pieces over a certain weight must be hallmarked by law. Articles below a certain weight are exempt from hallmarking.
Silver - 7.78g
Palladium - 1.0g
Gold - 1.0g
Platinum - 0.5g
Any items above these weights must be hallmarked if it is to be sold as precious metal
What exactly is a Hallmark?
A hallmark is basically a shorthand way of indicating who tested the piece of metal, on behalf of whom and what they found. The information is then stamped or laser marked onto the metal in 3 marks :
Sponsors Mark - The sponsor is the person or organisation which sends the item for hallmarking. It may be the maker or a third party. Each sponsor must have an individual sponsor mark which is designated for their use only .
Doodlebugzz sponsors mark is LA in a heart (my initials).
The Assay Office Mark - There are currently only 4 assay Offices in the whole of the UK and they are London , Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh. Each has its own individual mark to indicate which Assay office carried out the testing.
Doodlebugzz sends all items over the 7.78g limit (sometimes smaller items too) to Edinburgh Assay Office - whose mark is a castle.
The Fineness Mark - This mark is decided after the Assay Office carries out testing on the metal. Essentially this mark indicated the percentage of the precious metal used in the overall alloy, although it is actually expressed as parts per thousand rather than parts per hundred. For example .925 silver (sterling silver) has 925 parts of silver per thousand parts of alloy.
Doodlebugzz sends only genuine sterling silver for hallmarking - occasionally incorporating 9ct gold (375 mark) which will also be included in the hallmark .
If you are in any doubt as to whether your item will be hallmarked please check the individual product listings or message me for assistance.