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What is a Silver Hallmark? 

Hallmarks are official marks or series of marks that are stamped onto silver rounds, silver bars, and other silver products. The marks and stamps provide information to consumers about their product’s purity, origin, and maker.  

The History of Hallmarks 

Hallmarking precious metals dates to the reign of King Edward I (1239-1307). The King issued a decree that gold and silver be tested and approved by master artisans before being sold.  

Those who then wanted to sell silver or gold in London were required to submit their goods to Goldsmith’s Hall to ensure they met the quality standards of the craftsman. If their goods were approved, they received a stamp of approval or hallmark.  

While the term originally referred to the stamp received at Goldsmith’s Hall, it has come to refer to any marks guaranteeing purity or genuineness.

Things to Look for in a Hallmark 

These will be limited to products in the United States, where no legislation mandates hallmark specifics like what may be found in other nations.  

While this lack of legislation frees manufacturers from an obligation to assayers’ offices, it reinforces the importance of the phrase Caveat Emptor, as buyers must be vigilant about the authenticity of their purchases.  

As such, the silver and gold products you will find for sale in the United States do not always have an assayer’s mark.  

The best advice for navigating a market with convincing counterfeit products is to only buy from dealers and retailers you trust.  

Hallmarks for Purity or Fineness of Precious Metals Products 

The hallmark for purity on a silver round is the most fundamental aspect of a hallmark. 

The purity of a precious metal’s product like a silver round or silver bar will normally be found expressed in parts per thousand or greater. When you see a silver round with a .999 in its hallmark, the round is 99.9% silver and 00.1% alloyed metals. 

For instance, if you see a round that has a .925 stamp, it is 75% silver with 25% other metals, and this lets us know it is a sterling silver round

Common standards for purity include .900 for coin silver or coins made from 90% silver, .999 for 99.9% silver, and .925 for sterling silver. 

Hallmarks for the Maker’s Mark 

A maker’s mark enables consumers to trace the origin of a round or bar and provides accountability for the quality of the metal and the craftsmanship.  

The marker’s mark is a set of initials or a symbol that identifies the producer of the silver round or bar. With most private mints and issuers, the maker’s mark will be the company’s logo. 

Hallmarks for Weight of Precious Metals Products 

The third hallmark to pay attention to is the listed weight. This will typically be listed in ounces. Sometimes kilograms and grams are common for metals like gold, platinum, and palladium.  

The weight of a precious metal’s product will almost always be listed in troy units if it is listed in ounces or pounds.  

While silver and gold products no longer receive fineness stamps from Goldsmith’s Hall, we still rely on hallmarks to distinguish one product from another in terms of weight, fineness, or manufacturer.  

The United States does not have strict regulations of hallmarks, as you would find in the United Kingdom, and this makes it imperative to do business with dealers you trust. 

Quick Guides to Investing

Step 1:

Why Buy Physical Gold and Silver?

If you are concerned about the volatility of the stock market, you’re not alone. The extreme highs and lows of the stock market often lead investors towards safe-haven assets, like bullion. Historically, the Precious Metals market has an inverse relationship with the stock market, meaning that when stocks are up, bullion is down and vice versa.

Step 2:

How Much Gold and Silver Should You Have?

This question is one of the most important for investors to answer. After all, experts suggest limits on how much of any types of investments should go into a portfolio. After deciding to purchase and own Precious Metals and considering how much money to allocate, one can then think about how much and what to buy at any point in time.

Step 3:

Which Precious Metals Should I Buy?

With the frequent changes in the market and countless Precious Metal products available, choosing investments can be difficult. Some want Gold or Silver coins, rounds or bars while others want products that are valuable because of their design, mintage or other collectible qualities. Also, collectors may shop for unique sets and individual pieces for their collections.

Step 4:

When to Buy Gold & Silver

After considering why, how much, and what Precious Metals products to buy, an investor’s next step is when to buy them. This decision requires an understanding of market trends and the impact of economic factors on precious metal prices.

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