How to Start Hallmarking

Simple steps to hallmarking

To sell precious metal articles legally in the UK, you need to have them hallmarked.  We know this can seem a daunting prospect, so our aim is to provide a simple, practical guidelines which simplify the hallmarking process from registration, submitting your work and payment options, to receiving your work back with a beautifully-crafted London hallmark.



Register with us | Complete the hallnote | Package your articles | Deliver your articles to us | Payment

Register With Us

To start hallmarking, first you need to register with an Assay Office. On registering with us, you select your sponsor's mark, then, either order your punch, or choose to have your work hallmarked by laser.

If you are a full, or part time student, you can take advantage of our exclusive student registration package

The Sponsor's Mark

When you register with us, you are registering a sponsor’s mark - the first symbol in the hallmark. Each sponsors’ mark is unique and therefore provides a traceable link to the source of an article.

A sponsors’ mark comprises of the initials of the person or company registering (minimum of two, maximum of five initials) within a surrounding shield. We offer 45 standard shield designs to choose from. Bespoke designs are available by special arrangement at an additional cost.

You can choose laser only, or laser and punch registration.  Unlike other Assay Offices we don't charge extra to apply the hallmark by laser.  If you select a laser-only package it means your hallmark will be applied by laser every time you send work in.  (You could contact us to have a punch made of your sponsor’s mark at a later date, but this would be an additional purchase.) Read more about the different methods of hallmarking.

A ten year registration fee costs £72 (including VAT) and is renewable after 10 years. This fee includes free laser set up for standard designs. 

Should you wish to purchase a punch so you can have your hallmark applied by hand this costs an additional £85-90 per punch (depending on quantity of initials requested).

You can register online here and will be guided through the choices. 

A specially commissioned beaker from 2010 - showing multiple sponsor's marks as decoration.

Swan Neck Punch (top) and Standard Punch (below)

Punch type

All punches are manufactured by our engineers in-house workshop from a special type of hardened steel specially imported from America for its durability called W1 steel.  The punches are made at our workshop within Goldsmiths’ Hall.   They can be cut on two different types of shank.  These are known as “straight” and “swan neck” and are finished by hand to excellent precision.

As a guide, a swan neck punch is used on items with a curved surface, which includes rings and bangles.  The crook in the neck enables a mark to be applied neatly inside the curve. This type of punch can also be used on flat surfaces, making it the preferred choice if you are only ordering one punch.


Swan neck punches cannot be made larger than a size K. Straight punches are used on items with a flat surface where the markers have a clear line of sight, which may include silverware, cufflinks and pendants. The cost of a punch starts from £77.50.

Punch size

Sizes start from 0.5mm and go up to 6mm in height.  Read more on our methods page

Complete the Hallnote

Once you have registered, and you are ready to submit your work to us to hallmark, you can either do so online, OR you will need to complete a paper hallnote.  It’s your “order form” for us, describes the articles and metal, and gives you an area to write any special instructions you have for us.  

You can complete the hallnote online (the information you enter goes directly to our database, and generates a document to print off and include with your packet), or use a paper form, but you must submit one with your articles. Complete it as fully and clearly as possible.

Submit your online hallnote in your Account section.  The website guides you though the step-by-step process but you can read a guide on the website here. You can also track and pay for your packets in your Account area.  

Or, you can download a paper hallnote, and a Special Requests Form should you need one. Read our Guide to Completing Your Hallnote.

Please note that each metal, fineness, sponsor's mark and marking method need to be submitted with its own separate paper hallnote.  Remember, one metal, one standard, one hallnote! This reduces the likelihood of error and helps improve turnaround times. 

You will need to separate newly manufactured goods from second hand goods, and give separate hallnotes for those too. 

Finally, special assays and smelting requests need to be submitted on separate hallnotes. 

Package Your Articles

In order to keep your costs to a minimum, please ensure you wrap items together as much as possible in a large piece of tissue paper or bubble wrap.  Try and use the minimum amount of packaging without compromising the safety and security of your work.  Ideally items should be rolled in tissue or in ring trays for rings, earrings, pendants, etc. Bangles should be placed in cardboard rolls. We are on hand to offer advice so if you are unsure of anything please get in touch.

Deliver Your Articles To Us

By Post – Please send all your work by Royal Mail Special delivery to our main office at Goldsmiths’ Hall.

By Hand – you can submit work to us by hand to our main office at Goldsmiths' Hall or the Greville Street sub-office.

By courier – You can use a secure courier service to delivery and collect your work. You will be responsible for arranging collection and delivery as well as any costs incurred.

Deliver all component parts where items are incomplete/unassembled. Always inform the counter team which service you would like – verbally and in writing on your hallnote. When posting your articles to us, you must write which service you require on the outside of the packet so we can prioritise it accordingly.

It is your responsibility to get packets to the Goldsmiths' Company Assay Office. Any charges for delivery of packets will not be accepted unless agreed in advance. Items sent by post will incur a small handling fee.

Before submitting your articles please refer to our terms and conditions.


You need to pay for your hallmarking before we release your articles to you. If submitting your work by post you will receive an email alert when your articles can be paid for.  

The most straightforward way to do so is by paying online in your Account section.

If you submit your packet online, you can even pay on submission of the articles, so you don't have to wait until it is hallmarked to pay.   

 Alternatively, you can

  • Pay on collection of your work
  • Include a cheque with the packet when you send it to us

To apply for a Credit account, please contact us for more information. 

  • 1. Packet is weighed

    1. Packet is weighed

  • 2. Gross weight of packet is recorded

    2. Gross weight of packet is recorded

  • 3. Barcoded ticket is issued

    3. Barcoded ticket is issued

  • 4. Packet barcode is scanned into our system

    4. Packet barcode is scanned into our system

  • 5. Packet is unpacked, checked, and logged into our system. Assaying and hallmarking can start

    5. Packet is unpacked, checked, and logged into our system. Assaying and hallmarking can start

The steps pictured show what happens when we receive your packet. Hallmarking the articles inside it is a simple three step process: sampling, assaying, and marking. Read more about our Hallmarking Process.