Since 1972 the UK has been a signatory to the International Convention on Hallmarks. This means that UK Assay Offices can apply the Common Control Mark which will then be recognised by all member countries in the Convention. Conversely, Convention Hallmarks that have been applied in other member countries are recognised in the UK.
Some of The Assay Office marks of member countries of the Convention are illustrated below. The shield design around the Assay Office mark may vary according to whether the article is gold, silver or platinum. The key mark to look for is the Common Control Mark. The three other marks must also be present.
New Type 2 Common Control Mark introduced.
A new type 2 standardised CCM mark: The type 1 or traditional CCM conformity mark uses a different shield shape for each precious metal. It also always contains the millesimal fineness of the alloy. The new type 2 or standardised CCM mark is a single generic conformity mark used for all precious metals and finenesses. It must be accompanied by a mark specifying the millesimal fineness of the alloy and a unique mark for each precious metal or the chemical symbol for the precious metal. These accompanying fineness and metal identifying marks can be separate or combined.
The Member Countries of the Convention are:
*The hallmark guarantees that the purity of the metal is at least that indicated by the fineness number.
Following a ruling by the European Court of Justice, the UK is required to accept other national hallmarks where the CCM is not present. Under the guidelines of the British Hallmarking Council, those countries with national hallmarks deemed equivalent to UK hallmarks are listed in the table below (July 2014). If you would like to find out more please visit www.hallmarkingconvention.org/members.php
* Andalucía, Valencia, Madrid and Catalonia.
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