Makers Mark

Recently I had the pleasure of making my small clam shell pendant in 9ct gold for a very patient customer. The pendant was an anniversary and birthday present combined so to commemorate a special year we opted to have the Platinum Jubilee hallmark added, alongside the usual marks.

Solid Gold Clam Shell Pendant on seaweed by Kate Wimbush Jewellery

Her Majesty The Queen is the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, seventy years of service, having acceded to the throne in 1952. To celebrate the occasion, the body which oversees UK hallmarking, the British Hallmarking Council, has sanctioned a commemorative component mark. Designed by Thomas Fattorini Ltd, the mark depicts an orb, and can be applied to precious metal, alongside a hallmark, by any one of the four UK Assay Offices.

Platinum Jubilee Hallmark Queen Elizabeth Birmingham Assay Office

Hallmarking is a legal requirement in the UK for selling silver and gold jewellery. Silver is required to be hallmarked if a piece weighs over 7.78g and gold 1g. You may find that a lot of silver jewellery is still hallmarked under the weight requirement as it gives important information as to who made it, when and what fineness of silver it is. You can read more about the anatomy of a hallmark here

I use Birmingham Assay Office as this is where I grew up and it is recognisable by the anchor stamp within my hallmark.

Solid Gold Clam Shell Pendant with Kate Wimbush Hallmark Birmingham Assay Office
On the finished shell, you can see my hallmark has been applied by laser to keep the shape and delicate pattern of the shell which may be compromised if we were to stamp it. KW is my makers mark, 375 indicates it is 9ct gold (375 parts per 1000) the anchor is for Birmingham Assay and the X is the date year (2022). Underneath you can then see the distinctive orb mark for the Platinum Jubilee. The detail in these marks is impeccable considering the shell is no bigger than a thumbnail!
Kate Wimbush Hallmark Sponsor Mark Birmingham Assay Office
The KW mark is unique to me at Birmingham Assay Office and I have to register it every 10 years. This means in years to come when someone inherits a piece of jewellery made by me, they will be able to look up the mark and learn more about its story, when it was made and who by. I think it’s rather exciting to become a piece of someone or somethings history!
Why not check some of your family jewellery and see if it has any interesting hallmarks or stamps which can tell you more about it? Every piece of jewellery has its own little tale of where it all began.

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