What do I need to know?


The legislation

Hallmarking in the UK has a rich history dating back to the 1300s, serving as the oldest form of consumer protection. Precious metals like platinum, gold, palladium, and silver are rarely used in their purest form. They are typically alloyed with other metals to achieve the desired strength, durability, and colour. Detecting the platinum, gold, palladium, or silver content by sight or touch is nearly impossible. 

As a result, it’s a legal requirement to hallmark items made of these metals if they are to be labelled as such. However, there are specific weight thresholds for hallmarking, including 0.5 grams for Platinum, 1 gram for Gold, 1 gram for Palladium, and 7.78 grams for Silver. It’s important to note that manufacturers or importers cannot apply hallmarks themselves. Goods must be submitted to one of the four UK Assay Offices, or an Assay Office affiliated with the International Convention.

Compulsory and Additional Hallmarking

Compulsory Marks

Sponsor’s or Maker’s Mark
This unique mark identifies the maker or sponsor of the item. In the UK, it comprises at least two letters enclosed in a distinctive design. No two Sponsor’s marks are identical at any one Assay Office.
Metal and Fineness Mark
This mark reveals the precious metal content and purity of the article, ensuring it meets or exceeds the indicated fineness. The fineness is expressed as a millesimal number (parts per thousand), and the metal type is indicated by the design.
Assay Office Mark
This mark indicates the specific Assay Office where the article was rigorously tested and marked. For Birmingham, this mark takes the form of an Anchor.
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Additional Marks

In addition to these essential marks, we offer optional marks upon request, such as Traditional Fineness Symbols, the Date Letter (now voluntary), Common Control Mark, and Convention Marks (CCM).

We’re proud to be part of the UK signatory to the International Convention on Hallmarks, allowing our Convention Hallmark to be recognised worldwide, simplifying the process for international recognition.
The Convention marks come in two types, making it easy to identify the metal and fineness. Your precious items are in good hands at Birmingham Assay Office.

Additional Marks
At your request, you can also opt for additional marks alongside the Hallmark. These include:
The Date Letter
While it's no longer mandatory since 1999, the date letter can still be voluntarily added alongside the required marks. The date letter changes annually on January 1st.
The Common Control Mark and Convention Marks (CCM)
The UK has been part of the International Convention on Hallmarks since 1972. This means UK Assay Offices can apply the Convention Hallmark, which is recognised by all member countries in the International Convention. Likewise, Convention Hallmarks from other member countries are valid in the UK. Articles with the Convention Hallmark don't need re-hallmarking in the UK. There are two types of Convention marks: Type 1 incorporates the fineness in the design, indicating the metal, and Type 2 displays the scales and is the same shape for all metals
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How to register for hallmarking

Registering for hallmarking is a straightforward process. The standard fee to register a Sponsor Mark for hallmarking, as set by the British Hallmarking Council, is £80 + VAT, and this registration is valid for ten years. Re-registration is available at £40 + VAT. Please note that your registration is specifically with Birmingham Assay Office, and each UK Assay Office operates independently.

Following registration, you’ll need to choose between creating a punch or a laser file for your uniquely registered sponsor mark. The fee for a punch or laser file with up to three initials is £110 + VAT. The setup for laser artwork for your sponsor mark costs £110 + VAT. If you already possess a Birmingham Assay Office physical punch, the laser setup cost is reduced to £55 + VAT. Please feel free to contact us if you’re interested in setting up for laser marking. 

Additionally, a Laser Sponsor Mark is available for items too delicate or complex for traditional punch marking, with the same associated costs for setup. 


If you are a new customer, please first download and complete the new customer form to provide us with all your details:

You can then download a submission form. Please complete this form, print it and send it along with your items.

Items can be sent via mail or courier or dropped off at our customer services counter.

Please ensure that you have read and agreed to the Terms and Conditions.

The hallmarking process

Before we can apply a hallmark to your item, we carry out an assessment to ensure your piece meets the legal standards for precious metal composition. We use X-ray fluorescence technology, a non-invasive method of accurately defining the precious metal content.

Unless you provide specific instructions, we’ll choose the best method to apply the hallmark based on the item’s shape, construction, the quantity to be marked, and the hallmark size. We have a range of techniques available, from hand-operated or hydraulic presses for larger or more complex items to cutting-edge laser marking, which is ideal for intricate, delicate pieces.

At Birmingham Assay Office, we’ve made significant investments in the latest laser technology to ensure precision and accuracy. You can choose from two styles of Laser Mark: an outline or incuse mark, or a relief mark that closely resembles a traditional struck mark.


A registration at Birmingham Assay Office lasts 10 years.

1 Hour – Up to 5 items £50

Same Day – Items received by 9:30am will be ready for collection by 3:30pm (100% surcharge)

Next Day – Items received by 9:30am will be ready for collection by 9:30am the following day. (50% surcharge)

Express services subject to availability.

The minimum parcel charge applies per each metal / standard / marking method.


Additional charges at Birmingham Assay Office include, VAT, Handling, Bagging and Laser.

Yes processing the reject report requires additional administration therefore the charges still apply.


Yes! You may face a fine of £5000 if you do not display a Dealers Notice.