In the realm of jewellery, where quality meets craftsmanship, there exists a silent but essential guardian – the hallmark. Like a secret code etched into each piece, a hallmark tells a story of authenticity, quality, and tradition.
What is a hallmark?
A hallmark is a set of component marks which verify a product's material. Precious metals are rarely used in their purest form, instead being mixed with other metals to make them more durable. Hallmarks are only applied to precious metals Platinum, Gold, Palladium and Silver.
It isn't possible to detect an article's precious metal content by sight or touch, therefore it is preferred for items being sold as precious metal, to bear a hallmark.
Hallmarks are applied to precious metals to indicate the amount of pure metal in a product. Traditionally applied by striking with a punch, hallmarks can now also be applied using lasers.
In parts of Europe, it is illegal to sell a precious metal product without a hallmark and non-precious items are not permitted to have a hallmark. Items with just 925 are not legally hallmarked as they are missing the other marks. In the US however, there is no such legal requirement and Silver products that bear a lone 925 mark can only be assumed to be Sterling Silver as anyone can mark them as such, with no legal testing required.
Every Serge DeNimes jewelry piece is made from Sterling Silver, the same material as our European stock, which is officially tested and hallmarked in London, UK. Our factory hallmark US stock with similar hallmarks so you can trust that every piece brought from us is made from Sterling Silver.
Shows the company that made the product. Ours is 'SDN'.
The symbol shows that the product is made from sterling silver.
Millesimal Finess Mark
This shows the purity of the metal.
This shows where the item was marked.
This shows the year that the article was marked.
There are 2 types of Hallmark; The Traditional Hallmark is all 5 Marks | The Minimal Hallmark is just 3 of the marks. The sponsors mark, the millesimal mark & the year.
First, the article must be tested to see what materials it is made of. There are a few different ways to do this, shown here is the X-Ray Fluorescent Spectrometer test.
Another method is the 'touch test', this technique dates back to 500BC. The article is gently rubbed against a 'touchstone' made from basonite.
This leaves a small mark on the stone. Chemicals are applied to the mark and from the reaction that takes place, an initial indication of the fineness is determined. This is the origin of the phrase 'coming up to scratch'.
Most of our products are Hallmarked using lasers, however this specific piece (Silver Traditional Hallmark Bangle) has been designed to be struck by hand.
Handmarking is the most traditional method of hallmarking and is carried out using a punch and hammer, this hallmark will last a lifetime.
On necklaces, hallmarks can be found by the clasp.