Hallmarking - Getting Started

To sell precious metals legally in the UK, any articles over the exemption weight must bear a hallmark. This can be done by submitting them to an Assay Office, the process is outlined below.

1. Registration of a Sponsor’s Mark

Registering a Sponsor's Mark | Sheffield Assay Office

Each Assay Office is an independent company, so you should register with the office you wish to use regularly.

A hallmark must always contain a Sponsor’s Mark, which usually consists of one or more initials of the person or company wishing to register, enclosed by a surrounding shield. We have 87 shield designs for you to choose from. Company logos or designs may also be used, subject to certain restrictions. Upon receipt of your application, we will review your choice to ensure it has not already been taken.

The registration form can be found on our download page here.

The standard registration fee is currently £60 + VAT, and your registration will last for 10 years. After this, the renewal fee will be £30 + VAT.

2. Punches

Punches | Sheffield Assay Office

Hallmarks are traditionally applied by striking the article with a punch. One of these punches carries your Sponsor’s Mark and can be used to strike the mark on to each item before submission, or may be retained by the Assay Office for us to apply the mark. The typical cost of making a punch is around £80 to £95 + VAT.  If you are using a more complex design than the standard shields, this may incur an additional cost.

Punches can be cut on different types of shank,

Swan neck or cranked, for use on the inside of rings or bangles

Straight, for use on other articles

Punch sizes range from 0.412mm (size M) to 6mm (size A).

For advice on which punches to order, you can call us to discuss which would be most appropriate for your requirements.

The rest of the compulsory hallmark (the standard of fineness and town mark) is always applied by the Assay Office. 

3. Laser marking

Laser Marking | Sheffield Assay Office

If you don’t wish to use traditional punches, the hallmark may be applied by our laser machines instead. The fee for setting up your Sponsor’s Mark as a laser mark is £30 + VAT.

Laser marking is often used where your work is finished or highly polished, as it does not displace the metal of the article.

4. Submitting your items

Submit Your Items | Sheffield Assay Office

You can send your items to us by post, using a secure courier service or in person at our customer counter. Make sure they are wrapped well, and insured appropriately.

Each batch of work submitted for hallmarking must be accompanied by a completed Assay Note, which is available from our download page. A different note should be used for each standard of metal. You can use this to give us any specific marking instructions, such as where to mark the items.

Make sure that all parts of your items are submitted to us, as we must test every component to ensure they comply with the requirements of the Hallmarking Act.

See the Hallmarking Guidance Notes on our download page here for further information.

5. Payment

Once registered, you will be invoiced upon completion of each consignment. You can pay on collection using a credit or debit card. We also accept bank transfers or card payments over the phone.  Our price list can be found on the download page.

If you have any questions regarding any aspect of hallmarking, please contact us for further information and we will be happy to help.

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