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  • Writer's pictureLisen Bengtsson

Hallmarks or Hieroglyphics?

Peering into the interior of a ring you may be baffled by the hieroglyphic like marking stamped into the metal.

With the growing popularity of costume jewellery, a code that was common knowledge to most people only 30 years ago is today a strange language today.

To begin with, let us define what hallmarks are, they are an official mark discretely struck on items made of gold, silver, platinum and even palladium. This mark is a form of regulation and consumer protection that in some countries can date back over 700 years.

In this article, I'll be unravelling their mystery and how to decipher them.

We will be exploring gold and the mixture of metals that make up different carats that can be found on a hallmark, giving you information that you can use when purchasing a new piece.

Many countries throughout the world have their own specific markings, however, if you look at your pieces and you don't find a hallmark, don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t gold.

When I look at older rings, I do find there are countries that didn't hallmark their jewellery. They simply didn’t have laws in place to require jewellers to hallmark their pieces. This is something to be very aware of because many people rely on the hallmark.

However, in the absence of a recognised hallmark, it's straightforward to test your jewellery.

You can either take your piece to a local jeweller, and they will test it with chemicals on a small part of the metal. Alternatively, you can purchase a personal testing kit online.

To gain further information on the mysteries of hallmarks listen to the Soundcloud clip below:

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