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

A hallmark applied by a UK Assay Office is not proof of origin or place of manufacture of an item.

The hallmark of a UK Assay Office (whether applied by a UK Assay Office in its approved locations in or outside the UK) is proof that an item (in all its parts) is of the standard of fineness indicated by the hallmark struck on that item.

Hallmarks applied by UK Assay Offices at their approved locations within the UK are clearly differentiated from those applied by UK Assay Offices in their approved locations outside of the UK (as detailed in the table below)



Compulsory Marks

The Hallmark comprises three compulsory marks: A Sponsor's Mark, A Fineness Mark and an Assay Office Mark.

Sponsor's Mark

The registered mark of the article for hallmarking.



Fineness Mark

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

Silver: Silver 800 Silver 925 Sterling Sterling Silver 958 Britannia Britannia Silver 999
Palladium: 2009 Palladium - 2009 - 500 2009 Palladium - 2009 - 950 2009 Palladium - 2009 - 999 2010 Palladium - 2010 - 500 2010 Palladium - 2010 - 950 2010 Palladium - 2010 - 999
Gold: Gold - 375 - 9 Carat 9 carat Gold - 585 - 14 Carat 14 carat Gold - 750 - 18 Carat 18 carat Gold - 916 - 22 Carat 22 carat Gold - 990  Gold - 999 
Platinum: Platinum - 850 Platinum - 900 Platinum - 950 Platinum - 999


Exemption Weights*

Articles above these weights must be hallmarked.

Silver - 7.78 grams
Palladium - 1.0 gram
Gold - 1.0 gram
Platinum - 0.5 gram.


Assay Office Mark

Tells you which Assay Office tested and hallmarked the article.

Marks applied in the UK.

London London Birmingham Birmingham Sheffield Sheffield Edinburgh Edinburgh


Marks applied outside of the UK.



Optional Marks

You may also see optional marks such as the traditional fineness symbol or the date letter for the year the item was hallmarked, or a convention mark.

Traditional Fineness Symbols

Optional Marks - Sterling Silver Sterling Silver Optional Marks - Sterling Silver Scotland Sterling Silver Scotland Optional Marks - Britannia Silver Britannia Silver Optional Marks - Palladium Palladium Optional Marks - Gold Gold Optional Marks - Platinum Platinum


Date Letter

2015 2015 2016 2016 2017 2017 2018 2018 2019 2019 2020 2020 2021 2021 2022 2022 2023 2023 2024 2024


Common Control Marks (CCM)

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

Type 1: CCM Fineness Marks

Silver Silver Palladium Palladium Gold Gold Platinum Platinum


Type 2 CCM

CCM - Type 2


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.gov.uk/government/organisations/british-hallmarking-council.


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.

Burrells 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.