In 2022 the Assay Office celebrated Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by designing a limited edition commemorative stamp to sit alongside the traditional UK hallmarks. This special stamp is only available for the Jubilee year and will not be available after 31st December 2022. Although briefly paused when The Queen sadly passed away in early September the commemorative stamp was reinstated by the King's Assay Master due to a large number of requests by the jewellery community.
The Platinum Jubilee celebrates Her Majesty The Queen becoming the first British Monarch to celebrate seventy years of service, having ascended to the throne in 1952.
Understanding the rarity and importance of the metal Platinum gives greater meaning and depth to marking this unique moment in time. Symbolically, Platinum is strong, beautiful and enduring.
The mark was designed by Thomas Farrorini ltd and depicts the Sovereign's Orb along with the ER initials of Her Majesty and the number 70 to celebrate
70 years on the throne. To honour the occasion, the body which oversees UK hallmarking, the British Hallmarking Council, sanctioned a commemorative mark. It can be applied to precious metal, alongside a hallmark, by any one of the four UK Assay Offices.
This extraordinary mark has been added to many pieces of Amy Jennifer Jewellery this year, forever adding a touch of history to the pieces.
Commemorative hallmarks signify special events in time and are added next to the regular hallmarks.
A hallmark is a series of small stamps that are added to items made of precious metal to guarantee their purity. Each mark shares a different piece of information, telling us where the piece was hallmarked, what the article is made from, who sent the article for hallmarking and in what year.
A hallmark is your guarantee that what you are purchasing is a precious metal which has been independently tested. It is a legal requirement for an Assay Office to hallmark articles containing precious metals if they are described as such.
These markings are typically very small with discreet placements. You will commonly find them inside a ring shank, on the back of a pendant or next to a clasp on a chain. Often too small to see with the naked eye it is advised to use a jeweller's loupe or magnifying glass to see the markings clearly.
Although, not all markings are hidden and some can become a design feature. Requests can be made to have different sizes and variations of stamps. For example on the sides of our Signet Ring, the markings are clearly visible and add to the character of the ring.
The Sponsor's mark or the maker's mark
This mark represents who made it. Each company must have a registered mark, usually consisting of the maker's or business's initials within a shield shape. When an item is sent to be hallmarked, it will be the registered mark of the company that submitted the item for hallmarking.
The Fineness mark
This mark tells you what it is made from. This part of the hallmark tells you both the type and quality of the metal. The fineness or purity of the metal is expressed in the millesimal form (parts per 1000).
Silver has a purity of 92.5% and is marked as 925.
9-carat gold has a purity of 37.5% and is marked as 375.
18-carat gold has a 75% purity and is marked as 750.
Platinum has a purity of 95% and is marked 950.
The shape the number is in will also tell you the type of metal, oval for silver, chamfered rectangle for gold and a pentagon for platinum.
The traditional fineness symbol is an optional part of the hallmark but is applied as standard at the London Assay office.
The Assay Office mark
This mark tells you which Assay Office tested and hallmarked the article. There are currently four UK Assay Offices. You can find one in
You may see other assay office marks on antique items.
Date Letter Mark
A non-compulsory mark, the date letter changes annually on January 1st. The font, case, and shield shape all change so each can only indicate one specific year. Date punches are destroyed at the end of the year. As date letter hallmarks originate back from 1773 there have been many cycles of alphabetical markings. You can look up a date in hallmarking books and The Assay Office websites to trace its age and origin.
The way in which a hallmark is applied will depend on the nature of the item and what the jeweller would like. If requested, goods can be hand struck, with the help of a hand-operated hydraulic press to impress the mark deep into the metal. A hallmark can also be imprinted by the use of laser technology. Laser marking is best suited to delicate items which may feature more precious stones or more complex designs or which are hollow and would not withstand a traditional punch mark by hand.
Amy Jennifer Jewellery uses The London Assay Office to hallmark our jewellery designs. That Platinum Jubilee stamp has been a special touch to some important pieces of jewellery this year, particularly for wedding rings and jewellery that holds a special meaning in 2022. If you would like to commission a piece of jewellery from Amy Jennifer Jewellery in this special jubilee year, you can request to have this commemorative hallmark added at no extra charge. A little piece of history from this extraordinary year.