How to read hallmarks on Angel of Hope Jewellery
Angel of Hope Hallmark
How to read the hallmarks on the Angel of Hope Jewellery and why they are so special to us.
When Katharine and I decided to produce our Angel of Hope Angel Jewellery we created our own hallmark.
Our angels have our hallmark laser marked on their backs. Our hallmark is not only a sign of authenticity and quality but, for me it’s a nod back to three of the happiest years of my life.
What is a hallmark?
A hallmark is an official mark or series of marks struck on items made of metal, mostly to certify the content of noble metals, such as platinum, gold, silver and in some nations, palladium. Three compulsory marks and one optional mark make up the hallmark stamp.
1.The sponsor/maker’s mark – Our maker’s mark represents Angel of Hope Designs Ltd and shows that we are the registered company who has submitted the piece for hallmarking; it is totally unique to us. The three symbols ‘A O H’ stand for ‘Angel of Hope’.
2. Assay Office Mark – There are 4 assay offices in the UK, where every article of jewellery must be tested and hallmarked.
Each office has a distinctive symbol, which allows the owner to trace their article back to where it was first tested. You will find the anchor mark for Birmingham stamped on our Angel Jewellery:
3. Millesimal Fineness Mark – This is the precious metal content in the item, recorded in parts per thousand.
Our Angel of Hope Angels are available in 18ct yellow gold, 9ct rose and yellow gold and sterling silver. On our sterling silver angels you will find the stamp 925. On our 9ct Gold angels you will see 375. 750 is the hallmark on our 18ct gold angels.
The Date Letter Mark – Every year on the 1st January the Assay Office creates a new date letter stamp.
Date letters became optional in 1999 accordingly most modern items will not have this stamp.
Why is our hallmark so special to us?
Receiving my A Level results back in 1991 I had no idea which career path I wanted to follow. My passion had always been Antiques therefore my choice was a three year vocational course at Solent University studying Fine Arts and Chattels Valuation. The course prepared us for working in an auction house and running an antiques business. Although, unlike my contemporaries who frequently feature on the BBC Antiques Roadshow, life as an auctioneer and valuer was short lived for me but, the passion for antiques and jewellery remained.
Studying the History of Silver and Jewellery
The History of Silver and Jewellery was one of my favourite subjects. I particularly loved deciphering hallmarks, honing detective skills to accurately date pieces of silver. The Fakes and Forgeries was another eye-opening lecture but that’s a blog for another time…
Useful tools to help you read hallmarks;
If you too are keen to date silver and jewellery I highly recommend investing in a jeweller’s loupe and a copy of the Bradburys’ Book of Hallmarking. Enjoy the detective work, it’s completely addictive and who knows maybe you have some hidden treasure waiting to be discovered.