A jewelry hallmark is the engraved stamp that is often found on authentic pieces of jewelry, denoting the weight of the metal used in producing that particular item. While it is a mark often found on pieces of jewelry, other items made of precious metals often also carry a hallmark to signify the quantity and quality of the metal used.
The jewelry hallmark on an item assumes extreme significance for the purchaser for several reasons:
To Judge Authenticity:
While jewelry hallmarks themselves can be faked or duplicated, and therefore do not provide an infallible testimony to the quality or authenticity of the articles on which they are embossed, they are often the easiest way to judge the age and genuineness of a particular item.
While there is no way to be absolutely sure about the dependability of such a hallmark, it is the closest one can get to a guarantee of quality and authenticity that remains with the item even if it’s passed from one owner to another. Through re-selling and alteration, the piece of jewelry can still retain the original hallmark that is embossed upon it upon being manufactured.
Indicative of Content:
For an individual looking to buy jewelry from a reputable jewelry store or reliable manufacturer, the hallmark is simply a way of determining the metal content of the piece since it indicated the constituency and sometimes age of the item. Since jewelry is often an investment on the part of the customer, the fact that the hallmark can provide an estimate of the content and therefore value of the item they are about to purchase, becomes extremely significant to the buyer.
On the part of the purchaser, it is simply a matter of turning the item over in order to check the hallmark, since it is usually stamped into the underside of a piece of jewelry.
Sometimes, though not always, pieces of jewelry also carry a mark or stamp of the manufacturer who produced it. More famous jewelry designers and artifact stores usually put their own symbol all hallmark on their items alongside the jewelry hallmark.
If you’re looking to buy jewelry by a particular designer or company, this stamp is also extremely important. Not only does it guarantee the quality of the item since the manufacturer is automatically responsible for any lapse, it also adds to the resale value of the piece, since it can be traced back to a reliable source.
The jewelry hallmark also helps date a particular piece of jewelry, and to place it in a historical context if it’s ancient. One can determine the time in which the item was crafted, by studying the jewelry hallmark on it. Although this takes expertise and a good eye, some people are experienced enough to place a piece of jewelry in terms of when it was produced, and by whom, simply by looking at the jewelry hallmark.
If you are looking to purchase jewelry from a particular period, the jewelry hallmark must be taken into account before you make your purchase, since it provides an insight into the history of the jewelry in question, aside from providing a guarantee of its authenticity.