In 1300 King Edward I of England decided that all items made in silver must meet the sterling silver standard and must be marked with a leopard's head by 'guardians of the craft'.
In 1327 King Edward III of England granted a charter to the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths to carry out this task.
They were based in London at Goldsmiths' Hall and this is where the term "Hallmark" first arose.
It's first use was recorded in 1721 and it was established as a mark of quality in 1864.
Today The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths is more commonly known as The Goldsmiths' Company.
Today, a British Hallmark is a series of marks applied to items made from Silver, Gold, Platinum and Palladium throughout the UK.
The marks show that an article has been independently tested by a UK assay office to determine its quality and guarantee that the precious metal content conforms to the legal standard for that particular precious metal - This is known as the metals “fineness”.
Each bespoke piece of Sterling silver and Gold jewellery produced at Sophia Alexander is stamped with a British Hallmark, guaranteeing its quality and purity.
Your jewellery will show three marks; the Sophia Alexander sponsors mark (LW), the fineness or “purity” mark of the precious metal and the mark of the Assay Office.
At Sophia Alexander, we are registered with the Birmingham Assay Office. We also use The Goldsmiths Company Assay Office for many items.