In the UK it is illegal to sell or describe any item as Gold, Silver, Platinum or Palladium unless it is hallmarked*.

A UK hallmark is struck by an independent assay office and guarantees the precious metal content of the item you are buying. Sellers in contravention of the law may be prosecuted and could face fines or imprisonment.

The Hallmark comprises three compulsory marks:

Sponsor's Mark

The registered mark of the company that submitted the article for hallmarking.


Fineness Mark

Tells you the precious metal content, expressed in parts per thousand.

Silver: 800  925 SterlingSterling 958 BritanniaBritannia 999 
Palladium: 2009500 2009950 2009999 2010500 2010950 2010999
Gold: 375 9 carat9 carat 585 14 carat14 carat 750 18 carat18 carat 916 22 carat22 carat 990  999 
Platinum: 850 900 950 999

Assay Office Mark

Tells you which Assay Office tested and hallmarked the article.

LondonLondon BirminghamBirmingham SheffieldSheffield EdinburghEdinburgh

Optional Marks

You may see optional marks, such as the traditional fineness symbol and the date letter depicting the year the item was hallmarked.

Traditional Fineness Symbols

Sterling SilverSterling Silver Sterling Silver ScotlandSterling Silver Scotland Britannia SilverBritannia Silver PalladiumPalladium GoldGold PlatinumPlatinum


Date Letter

20082008 20092009 20102010 20112011 20122012 20132013


International Convention Marks

SilverSilver PalladiumPalladium GoldGold PlatinumPlatinum


This mark is used by countries, including the United Kingdom, that are signatories to the International Convention on Hallmarking and is recognised by all those countries.

* Exemption Weights
Articles above these weights must be hallmarked.
Silver: 7.78 grams.
Palladium: 1.00 gram.
Gold: 1.00 gram.
Platinum: 0.50 gram.


What should I do if my item is not hallmarked?

If you have a concern regarding hallmarking contact your local Trading Standards Authority. Fro more information visit www.bis.gov.uk/britishhallmarkingcouncil.

Our commitment to hallmarking

When it comes to manufacturing jewellery and silverware, precious metals (silver, palladium, gold and platinum) are rarely used in their purest form. Instead they are usually alloyed with lesser metals to achieve a desired strength, durability, and colour.

It is not possible to detect the precious metal content of an item by sight or by touch. It is, therefore, a legal requirement to have items consisting of silver, palladium, gold or platinum independently tested and then hallmarked before they can be described as such. Items must bear a hallmark at point of sale, subject to the following weight exemptions:
Silver: mandatory for items above 7.78 grams.
Gold: mandatory for items above 1 gram.
Palladium: mandatory for items above 1 gram.
Platinum: mandatory for items above 0.5 grams.

Swag is registered with the Edinburgh Assay Office, ensuring our precious metal jewellery is compliant with the UK’s hallmarking regulations. All stock is subject to an internal confirmation process to ensure it meets the UK’s hallmarking regulations before it is dispatched to our customers.

For articles that are below the UK hallmarking Act’s mandatory weight for hallmarking Swag operates a separate due diligence process which involves periodic voluntary testing of items that fall below the mandatory weight to ensure they meet the minimum fineness requirement.

We are an Assay Assured Jewellery Retailer. Assay Assured status is only given to retailers who have been independently audited and verified by Assay Assured which is run and overseen by the Edinburgh Assay Office, and ensures that all precious metal jewellery (except items exempt by weight) are independently tested and hallmarked.


Find out what a hallmark looks like here.