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The hallmarking

For years now the Cyprus Jewellers Association has been talking of the need to establish in Cyprus an assay office for the hallmarking of precious metals. With legislation already drawn for such a scheme, it is expected that within a couple of years all jewellery sold in Cyprus will be hallmarked.

Hallmarking has been associated with the jewellery and silversmithing trade for centuries ir many European countries. It is intended for all purposes, as a guarantee of metal quality to the buyer. It is worth mentioning that in Britain it was first introduces be Edward I in the 14th century, while in France hallmarking first began even earlier, in the 13th century.

Basically, each and every item produced by a factory or craftsman has to be sent to a government recognized assaying office where the quality of the item is determined. If the standard is according to the makers claim or higher the official punch marks are placed on the articles and then returned to the maker.

In Cyprus, the assaying–office will be under the supervision of the Organization of Cyprus standards and quality control known as CYS, which organization falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

Finally, it is worth knowing that the marks on the item provide useful information to the buyer. An explanation is given below.

ASSAY OFFICE MARK: Identifies where the article was assayed or tested by the authority responsible for setting the standards.

STANDARD MARK: This serves the double purpose of showing what metal is used and its degree of fineness. It consists of a number showing either the carat quality metal to a thousand parts of alloy (eq. 750 means 750/1000)

MAKERS MARK: This identifies the manufacturer. It usually consists of initials or an emblem.

DATE MARK: It denotes the year of manufacture.