Simple Gold Hallmark Guide

Simple gold hallmark guide

Welcome to our simple gold hallmark guide. Since writing this article, we’ve now launched our free-to-use gold hallmark identification wizard, which will help you identify the purity and age of most UK hallmarked gold items.

Hallmarking (also called assay or standard marking) is the official quality control mark that determines the purity of gold and other precious metals.

To receive a price quotation using our scrap gold calculator, you’ll need to know the weight and type of gold you have. Fortunately, modern digital kitchen (or postage) scales are very accurate, allowing most customers to gain a relatively accurate indication of the weight of their gold. Identifying the type of gold can be a little more tricky, which of course requires us to read and decipher the hallmark stamped on the item.

For the purposes of explaining the various marks, we’ll use this ring.

22ct gold ring

The first mark we see is the makers mark, telling us who manufactured the item (in this instance, H Samuel).

The next mark we see is a Crown or Gold Standard Mark. This was first introduced in 1798 and can now been seen on all UK hallmarked gold that’s 9, 14 18 and 22ct. The crown also appears on old 12 and 15 carat gold, however this was stopped in 1932.

We now come to the mark that tells us the gold fineness (purity). First, let’s look at the shape stamp. You’ll notice it’s a rectangular shape with the corners shaved off. This again tells us the item is gold. An oval stamp would indicate the item is silver, a ‘house’ shaped mark is used for platinum items and three conjoined ovals denote palladium.

Millesimal Fineness Mark


The Hallmarking Act 1973 stipulates the use of the above symbols to identify the precious metal. This millesimal stamp number tells us the precious metal content.

It’s worth remembering that other countries have their own hallmarking standards, so the hallmark you see on your gold may well differ. Here is a table of common hallmark fineness stamps:

As our gold ring in the photo was made prior to 1973 (Hallmarking Act), the markings are slightly different, but still easy to understand. In our example, you can see the ’22’ stamp, indicating 22 carat gold.

The next mark tells us which assay office hallmarked the jewellery item. There are 4 assay offices in the UK:

  • Birmingham (Anchor symbol)
  • Sheffield (Rose)
  • London (Leopard)
  • Edinburgh (Castle)

As you can see, this ring was assayed in Birmingham.

The final stamp on our ring is the date stamp which tells us the year this item was tested and certified for fineness. Date identification is outside of the scope of this article, but in this instance, the shape of our letter ‘T’ tells us this ring was hallmarked in 1968.

As you can see, a hallmark can tell us a lot about the item. Providing you can identify the type of gold you have and its weight. you can use our gold calculator to work out the value of your item(s).

If you’d like to delve even deeper into hallmark identification, head on over to our gold hallmark identification wizard.

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63 Responses to “Simple Gold Hallmark Guide”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello! I have a ring which is – 375, Crown, Sheffield, 1996 (I think. Its a W) with the makers mark NC. It’s a thick gold textured band with 3 dark blue stones which I was told were topaz. The makers mark NC has been recognised once in my extensive search online but with no information with it. Do you have any ideas who made this ring?

    • Phil says:

      Unfortunately, we don’t maintain a database of maker’s marks – it’s just too complicated! Your best bet would be to contact SAO direct.

  2. Fran says:

    I have an old diamond ring marked belonged to my grandmother, it says LP, crown (stamp) 18 and an anchor stamp, and Letter E.

    2nd ring: possible Opal A&W 14, 26015 (written no) also a number 1995 or could be 1993, this is also a vingage ring.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi I have a thin rose gold rope chain. It has a small 9K stamp on both links but their is no 375. Is that okay and real 9ct rose gold? I read somewhere sometimes there isn’t enough room so it will just have 9k but would like to make sure.

    • Without testing your chain, it’s impossible to say. If your chain sticks to a strong magnet it’s an indication that it’s not gold. If we were purchasing it, we would test it with XRF (x-ray fluorescence) to confirm its precious metal content.

  4. Laura says:

    So I recently got a ring given to me from my husband’s family. His great grandma passed away at the young age of 103 and was born and raised in England. Its gold and it has an sh, crown, 22, and an anchor. Any ideas? In just curious as to if I should put it away forever or if it’s safe to wear around. TIA

  5. Jenny says:

    Hi I have what looks like a rose gold scarab beetle pendant carved from lapis. The bail and pendant setting are stamped with V. Can anyone help to confirm if this is gold and if so how many carats? It could be an older hallmark or foreign?

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have a ring with hallmark
    Gj crown 375 sideway anchor s
    Please decipher. Thanks

  7. I have a gold musical snuff box with the marking of a Lions head and a Capital T and another side view of a head? On the lid in a Lion and Capital T. Please could you help with this .

  8. Anonymous says:

    I have a ring with with a 22 stamping inside of it with a 7 on the opposite side. Do you think it’s real?

  9. Jenny says:

    Hello, I’ve used your hallmark identification to find the following:

    This stamp indicates that your item was hallmarked prior to 1975.
    It is 9 carat gold.
    Your item was assayed in Birmingham.
    Your item was hallmarked in 1817 owner?

    However, can you tell me why letters are stamped before it? I Have H.H.F stamped before all of the above – are these the initials of a jeweller or an

  10. stephen says:

    i have a ring that says dia i was told it was gold by the shop is this gold or not??????

    • Phil says:

      Dia is probably short for diamond. Does it have a stone set in it?

      Withougt a hallmark, it’s impossible to confirm if your ring is gold. Having said that, if there’s a diamond in your ring, it’s fairly safe to assume it is. As far as its purity is concerned, you’d need to get it tested.

  11. june says:

    Hi I have a 9ct possible rose gold cross can you please tell me the makers name and approx age. It is marked P.P.& T.LTD 9CT

  12. Sam says:

    Hi there,
    I just bought a ring that has marks that I can identify, and marks that I cannot.
    The marks are as follows:
    A “9” in a square shape, followed by a “.375” in a square as well, a sideways anchor and a “t” in a square.
    What’s here tells me that its 9 carat gold, Birmingham and from 1893, the only thing I can’t figure out is the 9?
    If a picture would help:,493844068,493844105,493844186,493844225,493844358&formats=0,0,0,0,0,0&format=0

    Thank you!

  13. lara says:

    my ring looks like silver or white gold but all it says is 925 what does this mean? is it real?

  14. Kelly Allen says:


    I have a bracelet with the first symbol being ALD do you know what this means?


  15. charlie says:

    I have a rose gold albert chain with 9 375 on each link and MB plus 9375 stamped on bar, any idea of age etc.

  16. Andrew says:


    While researching my family tree, I have also been trying to find information on a ring I have, its very heavy & think it is made from Australian gold.

    On the ring there is a crossed pickaxe, shovel & wooden stake, on the inside band, the inscription reads (with these I got it) & the letters (L&W), there no other markings at all.
    Appreciate any help at all concerning the maker, when they were established & ceast trading.


  17. rachel says:

    hi i have a bangle on one side there is a lion then the letter n and on the other side there is the letters RPH then an anchor then a lion then the letter n does anyone know what they mean

  18. Janice says:

    Thank you for an excellent informative site

  19. craig says:

    also i have another ring, that has an N stamped on it, am i corect to assume its made in 1989 ?

    also the maker J.N.W do you know who that is ?

  20. craig says:

    hello i have an older gold ring, it has 750 fine stamp and the gold crown indicating english. what puzzles me is there is shield hallmark with 3 crosses in it. do you know what that means ?

    • Phil says:

      Hi Craig,

      Could those marks you think look like crosses actually be castles (two above, one below)?

      If so, that sounds like the assay mark for Newcastle, which closed in 1884.

  21. philip says:

    could you pls tell me what the letter A is dated on my gold ring pls note this is in caps

  22. Billie says:

    I have a ring that is supposed to be rose gold. The markings inside the ring are A “P” inside a circle and a crown inside a square. Is this a common marking and it it really gold?

  23. Mark says:

    Hi there,
    i bought two seperate gold chains from a second hand store and am not sure if I made a good buy or not. The only hallmark found on the two chains is the name Americaner.
    Could this be anything more than a makers name?

    • Phil says:

      Hi Mark,

      Do your chains stick to a magnet? If they do, I’m afraid they’re not gold.

      If they don’t stick, the only way to be 100% sure will be to take them to a jewellers for testing.

  24. Patricia King says:

    Your hallmark wizard is great, but I can’t identify the maker on my ring. I have determined that it was made in 1897, 18Kt and made by L&L. There is a number at the top inside of the ring which is 729.



    • Phil says:

      Hi Trish,

      Unfortunately, we don’t identify maker’s marks at the moment. Building the database of year marks was a huge undertaking… Maybe we’ll look at expanding on the wizard at some point, but it’s not something we’re planning right now.

  25. Ollie French says:

    Hi there,

    I have my grandmothers ring it has the following on it:


    Am i to understand that it is 9ct, 375 fineness (so 37.5% gold) and hallmarked in London?
    What does the ‘k’ and ‘0’ stand for?

  26. Nick says:

    Hi there,
    i have a pendant that i cant find much information on, the hallmarks are:
    CH in a hexagon shape,
    925 on a set of scales,
    then a Rose. So its from Sheffield.

    Can you identify the CH?

  27. donna campbell says:

    i was given a ring from a friend its marked 925 now i know this number represents silver, my problem is the ring is gold coloured and looks real against my other gold rings, is this ring gold plated or is it possible it could actually be gold?

    many thanx


    • Phil says:

      Hello Donna,

      With a 925 mark, it’s unlikely that your ring is gold. As you’ve indicated, it’s probably plated silver.

      However, the only way to to confirm this is to get your ring professionally tested.

  28. Amanda says:

    I have a ring with a Hallmark I cant identify. Tha Hallmark is as follows:

    A heart with the letters P N inside followed by a box with 9375 followed by a circle with III and then another circle with what looks like a V ?

    Thanks in advance,

  29. Sue says:

    Hi, I bought a ring yesterday but I couldn’t see hall mark anywhere although I was told that it is hallmarked. On the receipt it is written by hand 18ct gold..but no certificate or warranty was given. Can I trust that the ring is actually 18ct gold? Is there any regulation that hallmark must be incorporated on the ring or should I bring it back for refund?

    Thank you so much

    • Phil says:

      Hello Sue,

      Are you located in the UK? By law, any item of gold weighing more than 1 gram MUST be hallmarked. It is a criminal offence to sell an item of jewellery, describing it as gold without a hallmark.

      Initially, I would suggest you get it tested. You could take it to another local jeweller and ask them to value it for you.

      If the ring turns out not to be gold, you should lodge a complaint with your local Trading Standards office.

  30. lewis says:


    i can’t identify what my markings on my ring mean, first there is the initials “W.H” then the number nine? I can’t be sure. Third, there is the number ‘375’, then somthing simliar looking to an anchor but i cannot be sure, aiming left. Lastly, there is a funny “A”.

    Can somone please help? Thanks.

  31. Marty Maayan says:

    I have a small ring with marks that I cannot identify.
    Starting on the left is a square with a 3
    next in the middle is a rectangle with ECME (there appears to be a crown on top of the M)
    next there is a square adjoining a smaller rectangle- in the first larger square the appears to be a C to the left of a helmeted head ( not unlike the Latvian symbol) and then in the adjoining smaller square are the numerals 585. Can you possibly identify this? Thank you.

  32. stacey says:

    im after some information on a ring. it has 4 symbols. first is a head second is a crown third is the number 18 and fourth is a anchor.

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January 4th, 2008 63 Comments » Hallmarks |