How it works
Each hallmark tells its own story through a series of individual marks within the hallmark. The first of which is usually the Sponsor's mark. This mark lets the buyer or the collector know who made the piece or more commonly who submitted the piece to be hallmarked.
A Sponsor's mark or Maker's mark is made up of at least 2 initials combined with a shape which surrounds the initials. The initials of the person or the company are normally combined with one of the punch surround shapes available to make up a unique Sponsor's mark.
Applying the Hallmark
Once the item has been tested the hallmark can be applied to an item of precious metal in different ways depending on the number of articles, the stage of manufacture or the size and construction of the item.
Hand marking does exactly as the name suggests and the hallmark is stamped by hand with a punch and a hammer. This technique is ideal for small batches or large single pieces. Before the introduction of laser marking this was the only means of marking delicate items.
Laser marking does not require any physical contact with the item. The mark is applied by a very precise computer controlled laser engraving machine. Laser hallmarking is ideal for hallmarking hollow or delicate items as well as for applying marks in an area where it would be otherwise impossible to strike a mark.