There are four principal precious metals used for making jewellery, watches, silverware and other luxury items; Platinum, Gold, Palladium and Silver. These metals are not usually used in their pure form, but are combined with other elements to create a more usable alloy
Precious metals are extremely valuable and a small variance in precious metal content can make a huge difference to cost. A hallmarking system requires articles to be tested (assayed) and marked to guarantee the precious metal content is of a recognised “standard”, protecting the buyer and adding information and reassurance to the product.
The Hallmark is a set of symbols applied after testing to confirm the precious metal standard or “fineness” of the metal and is currently expressed in parts per thousand (ppt).
For example what we know traditionally
as 9 carat gold is 375 ppt
and is marked accordingly.
Other compulsory symbols record which Assay Office tested it and who submitted it for hallmarking