If you are looking for some information about jewelry hallmarking, then you have reached the right place, as you will get to know everything about it here. Watching out for hallmark jewelry is important to see the authenticity of the buyer and the quality of the metal used in the jewelry. A good buyer of fashion jewelry will look for the jewelry hallmark every time.
For any buyers who are looking for antique and expensive fashion jewelry, they should examine the hallmark by holding it up to the loupe. Examining the hallmark is not a piece of cake, it takes efforts and time of yours to do thorough research in studying the hallmark of the jewelry. For this, the person may also need to study various books and get in-depth knowledge about them. But we will try to lessen your effort by providing all the information that you need to know about the jewelry hallmark.
We will start with making you understand what is the hallmark. So hallmark is the seal of the government that is stamped onto metals that are precious like silverware, diamond, and gold. Hallmark certifies the metal purity of the jewelry and the authenticity of the maker. If you get a gold hallmark then you can be sure that the gold is pure and the jewelry is not made of any other artificial gold metal. Every country has a different hallmark, so if you are planning to know more about the US Hallmark then continue reading.
Table of Contents
- What was the need for Jewelry Hallmarking in the USA?
- Hallmark For Gold Jewelry
- Guideline for Silver Jewelry Hallmarking
- Platinum Jewelry Hallmarking
- Common Confusion in Jewelry Hallmarking
What was the need for Jewelry Hallmarking in the USA?
In America, silver objects and money came from Europe, and they had continental jewelry hallmarking that was standard all through. So back then there was no need for America to have the jewelry hallmarking of their own. Furthermore, the political and economic situation of the country did not allow the government control on production because of the import of the metal from other countries. It was only in the 18th Century that the country created its own monetary system and also developed its private silversmith.
After establishing this, it became necessary for the state to introduce a hallmark that was particular to their country and the buyer can know about which country metal is used in the jewelry. Back then, American jewelry hallmarking portrayed the emblem of the state. But many a time the maker had their own marks embedded on their fashion jewelry. It was different from the European hallmark as it includes the full name of the jewelry and both initials of the jewelry arranged within a circle and sometimes in an oval.
Hallmark For Gold Jewelry
In the US there is no particular official gold hallmarking system. But there are separate assaying agencies, across various cities and states of America. Jewelers of America is an agency where its associated members have the “J” letter at the entrance of their store. This symbolizes that they provide guaranteed quality gold jewelry. They oblige to the code of ethics observed by the association. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has provided guidelines for the Jewelry industry, the guidelines are:-
- 10 Karat of gold is of the lowest quality of the United States. As it is composed of 41.7% of gold along with other metals mixed.
- Karat quality of the gold signifies its purity as well.
- 14 karat gold has gold purities and thus it is jewelry made of it is known as one of the purest gold jewelry. It consists of 58.5 % gold.
- Better than 14 karat gold is 18 karat gold which has 75% gold in it along with other metals.
- 24 karat is the purest gold that can be found in fashion jewelry. 24 karat gold jewelry is made up of 99.9% gold
- US registered trademark of the other company or jewelry who assumes responsibility is carved near the karat quality mark in the fashion jewelry.
Guideline for Silver Jewelry Hallmarking
In the fashion jewelry there are two types of silver to be used:
- 900 silver is allowed to be known as the coin or coin silver
- 925 silver, which is called from various names like- Solid, Sterling silver, silver, and sterling
Silver jewelry hallmarking also contains the name of the region or even town where the jewelry is made. Even the date can be mentioned on the silver jewelry to resemble when they were made.
Platinum Jewelry Hallmarking
The Platinum group of metals contains platinum, palladium, iridium, osmium, ruthenium, and rhodium. The United States is one of the major makers of platinum jewelry and thus you would like to study platinum jewelry hallmarking. Platinum jewelry has three assay numbering used for jewelry hallmarking: 950,850 and 900. And the other two types of metal denomination. Plat and pt. for clarification platinum jewelry will have the jewelry hallmarking 900Pt.
Common Confusion in Jewelry Hallmarking
When a layman is trying to understand the hallmarking system, it is natural to get confused between common notions. So in this section, we will acquaint you with the common problems or assumptions that people have and we will try to solve them out.
- Confusion between marker’s mark and hallmark
Layperson thinks that any mark of the fashion jewelry is a hallmark. But it is important for the buyer to understand that the marker’s mark is not the certified hallmark from the US government. This confusion can allow the buyer to make a great mistake. A buyer may buy an artificial metal because they got confused between the marker’s mark and the hallmark. Maker’s mark only signifies the organization where the jewelry is made, but it is not certified that the jewelry contains pure metal or the jewelry has gone through various test
2. What all is included in hallmarks?
Hallmarks can be understood as a stamp or a mark. So the hallmark may include the following:-
- Town Marks- which is the indicator of where it is made
- Date letters:- indicates when it was made
- Purity marks- as discussed above the purity of the gold, silver, and other precious metals
- Tally marks:- includes the journeyman or artisan who created the piece
- Designer marks:- the names of the designer who were involved in its designing process
- Duty Marks:- it tells the buyers that the taxes are paid
- Patent and inventory numbers:- they are put to track the jewelry design, they are government or company-issued numbers.
- Retailer marks:- it includes the name of the outlet where the jewelry is being sold
3. What is the process of Jewelry Hallmarking
Generally, anybody can go for having their item hallmarked, for it you just need to know the process. But in general terms, it is more popular for people working with precious metals, particularly traders and jewelers.
First, you to send the piece of your jewelry to the nearest Assay office, to get jewelry evaluated. They will test your work on the jewelry, to check the right purity mark. A jeweler may add their unique sponsor mark on it. and assay office can also put the mark on the jewelries to indicate which the Assay office has evaluated the jewelry.
To get your own sponsor mark the jewellers can register their design with assay office to get it approved.
Jewelry hallmarking has become really important in today’s era, where theft is so prevalent. A person who is looking for a pure metal jewelry should have the knowledge about the jewelry hallmarking which can save them from a piece of artificial jewelry. In this article, we have given you all the necessary information that you should have while buying a piece of precious and genuine jewelry.
Is it illegal to sell Jewellery without a Hallmark?
In United states, the legality of the hallmark depends on the type of metal you are talking about. For gold, palladium, silver, and platinum, it is important that the jewelry should have the hallmark, in the case where these metals are sold as precious and genuine metals.
Does real Gold has to be stamped?
Yes, a real genuine gold must have the hallmark of the Karat number with which the jewelry is made. It is mandated by the US law to give buyers more transparency in buying gold.
How much does hallmarking cost?
It differs according to the annual subscription and monthly subscription. The best value that is offered in an annual subscription is $4.99 per month. And for monthly you have the option for $5.99 per month.