The Mark of a Maker
It's been a busy week, but there's no time to sit on our laurels and contemplate. With a flurry of activity in the workshop, this usually means a flurry of activity at the Post Office, and why might that be?! Well let me tell you. . . .
Every item of gold and platinum jewellery that we sell has to have a hall mark under UK law, which can be ascertained from one of four Assay offices in the country. The humble hall mark was first brought into being in 1363 by Edward III, to try and guarantee that all that glittered really was gold. It has been tool of certainty since then, although the manner of testing and the application of a hallmark has changed vastly over time. After graduating from the prestigious Sir John Cass Department of Art in London's, Erin registered her makers mark at the London Assay Office. A full UK hall mark consists of a number of factors. Firstly the makers mark, which in the instance of Erin, and other independent jewellers and crafts people is their initials. This is followed by the mark of fineness, which denotes the type of metal it is and of what quality. Next up is the mark of the assay office, which for London is a Leopard, and finally a letter which denotes the year the piece of jewellery was made. on some of our jewellery we have one further mark, and that is if the piece is made with Fair Trade gold, this mark is the Fair Trade Association logo.
We are eagerly awaiting a return delivery from the Assay Office, some pieces for customers, and some lovely new stock to hit the shelves of the shop. We'll keep you posted as to what arrives, it's always an exciting day for us.
If you are interested in learning more about the history of hall marking in the UK, have a look here. www.assayofficelondon.co.uk/about-us/history-of-hallmarking