Hallmarking: how businesses can comply with the law

How to comply with hallmarking law if your business supplies items described as precious metal (gold, silver, platinum or palladium).

Use the hallmarking guidance

An explanation of why precious metal items are hallmarked, the standards of hallmarking and the official symbols.

The Assay Offices have produced hallmarking guidance notes which cover:

  • why are precious metal items hallmarked
  • what needs to be hallmarked
  • what are the precious metal standards for hallmarking
  • what are the minimum requirements of a hallmark
  • how to get a sponsor’s mark
  • use of more than one precious metal in an article
  • use of non-precious metals combined with precious metals
  • hallmarking gold plated silver items and Mokume Gane
  • exempt articles
  • adhesives and solder; filled hollow articles; plated articles; making an alteration to a hallmarked article
  • guidance on describing precious metals
  • use of the words ‘silver’, ‘palladium’, ‘gold’ and ‘platinum’ when used to describe base metal jewellery and watches.

Display the Dealer’s Notice

Under the Hallmarking Act 1973 all dealers supplying precious metal items must display a notice explaining the approved hallmarks. This must be in the form produced by the British Hallmarking Council.

Display this notice in your premises where customers can see it.

Online retail sites must also prominently display explanatory information about the hallmark. This can be either:

  • as Dealers Notice A
  • as Dealers Notice B (available as a PDF or a short film as an alternative for online sales platforms where a dedicated page on hallmarking is not required)

Read further guidance on selling articles of precious metal on the internet.

How to get the Dealers Notice

For physical display in shops, Dealers Notice A is available as a free download from any of the Assay Office websites, and high quality printed versions are also available. For those requiring large quantities of notices artwork is available for retailers to produce their own signs.

Dealers Notice A is available in the following formats.

Hard copy

High quality gloss, free standing printed versions are available from the Assay Offices for a charge of £15 plus VAT and postage.

Electronic PDF file

Dealers Notice A is also available as a PDF file to download on the websites of the 4 Assay Offices. This must be printed out in black and white (minimum 300dpi, A4 size).

High resolution artwork

Commercial print-ready artwork is available electronically from each Assay Office, allowing retailers to print their own hard copies using a professional printer. Reproduction of the electronic versions must meet specific criteria.

Dealers Notice A must be:

  • printed in black and white
  • clearly legible
  • printed in its entirety with no amendments, additions or deletions
  • printed a minimum A4 size (210 x 297 millimetres) in portrait format but can be larger if required

Dealers Notice B, for use in online retail settings, is available as a PDF download or a short film version from the Assay Offices.

Assay Offices

Contact them or download from their websites:

Example of a Dealer's Notice black and white kind of poster that shops must display

Example of a Dealer's Notice. The new version, released in September 2019, became compulsory on 1 May 2020.

Example of Dealers Notice A (for physical shops).

Example of Dealers Notice B (an alternative for online retail settings)

HALO Award

Retailers in the UK selling hallmarked items online can apply for the HALO Award. This award will be presented to the retailer who has run the most effective online initiative relating to the display of the new format Dealers Notice and education surrounding UK hallmarking.

Published 23 August 2019
Last updated 9 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. We have added further information about Dealers Notice A and B.

  2. The Dealer’s Notice is being updated and the new version will be compulsory from 1 May 2020.

  3. First published.