For The Jewel Matcher Helen, her role is all about best practise and upholding standards. This is completed embodied in the principles of hallmarking, that all jewellery sold in a store or online must carry an officially registered British or international hallmark to guarantee the purity of precious metal.
What is a Hallmark?
A Hallmark is a set of component marks applied to articles made of precious metals namely gold, silver, palladium or platinum. These verify the article has been independently tested and guarantees it confirms to all legal standards of purity (or fineness)
It is in fact the oldest form of consumer protection as hallmarking dates as far back as 1300 when a statute of Edward I established the assaying (test and analysis) and marking of precious metals with the express purpose to protect the public and the trader against unfair competition
As precious metal, Gold, silver and platinum are too soft to use in their pure form they are always alloyed with for example copper to create a suitably strong, workable and yet still attractive material. Yet crucially it is impossible to determine the quality and fineness of precious metals by sight or touch alone. Further unscrupulous undisclosed technique could be plating
In the UK, all jewellery that is sold as having been made with gold, silver, platinum or palladium, must be hallmarked according to the Hallmarking Act 1973. Should a metal object weigh under a certain number of grams, they are exempt from the hallmarking law. For example, small, light items such as stud earrings or pendants may fall into this category and do not have to be hallmarked if their weight falls under:-
1 gram for gold
5 gram for platinum
1.gram for palladium
7.78 grams for silver