The Difference Between A Hallmark and a 925 Stamp
If you buy sterling silver jewellery regularly you'll often see .925 stamped into the metal.
This stamp is to signify that it's real sterling silver (as opposed to perhaps silver plated). However a 925 stamp is not a hallmark or a guarantee that your piece really is sterling silver.
It's come to my attention that some buyers are wrongly presuming that a .925 stamp is hallmark, when a hallmark is something entirely different. Read on and I'll explain the difference between the two.
A hallmark is only legally required for silver jewellery that is over 7.78 grams in weight.
Hallmarking is a costly process that would drive the cost up immensely for lightweight silver items. Because of this lightweight jewellery with no precious gemstones within it, typically is not sent to be hallmarked by jewellers.
The cost involved is because a hallmark can only be applied by a professional assay office who charge for this service.
The assay office checks the item in person, and then stamps it to confirm it is 925 silver, using a logo stamp that has been created for that jeweller. The stamp is a logo, it's different to the 925 stamp.
Most lighter weight jewellery, or jewellery not containing precious gemstones such as diamonds, are not hallmarked, because there is no legal requirement below that weight, and it would drive up the cost of each item needlessly.
To be clear on the topic of hallmarking - there is a huge different between a hallmark and a 925 stamp.
You may see many items with a 925 stamped on them, but this is not a hallmark and is a stamp that any jeweller can purchase and stamp onto jewellery.
Simply visit Amazon or eBay and conduct a search, and you can see them readily available online to purchase by anyone who wants to stamp .925 onto metal.
While it may give you a feeling of reassurance to see the 925 stamp, the stamp can be stamped onto literally any metal if the jeweller chooses to, and is no guarantee that the item is actually 925 silver.
Items that have a 925 stamp only and no other marks, are not verified by the Assay office, and it this is not a hallmark or guarantee, only a real hallmark is a guarantee.
You can read more on the topic of what signifies if your sterling silver is real or not at;
Watch out, even the seller can be confused by the difference between silver plated, silver filled, and sterling silver.
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