British Hallmarks have acted as a safeguard to purchasers of silver articles for over seven centuries. The standards for hallmarking are strictly enforced and any article submitted whose purity is even slightly below 92.5% silver is broken and returned to the manufacturer.
The British Hallmarking system is the oldest form of consumer protection in existence. The Assay Offices of Great Britain are incorporated by Royal Charter and are independent of any trade association.
A British Hallmarked article guarantees that the article has been independently tested by an Assay Office and that it conforms to the legal standards of purity.
1- THE SPONSOR’S MARK
This indicates the manufacturer of the article. The unique sponsor’s mark of Ari D. Norman consists of a heraldic shield and the initials AN.
2- COUNTRY OF ORIGIN MARK
The Lion Passant, indicates British silver.
3- THE DATE LETTER MARK
This indicates the year in which the article was hallmarked. Each year is allocated a letter of the alphabet, when the letter 'Z' is reached, the alphabet is started again but in a font that has never been used before.
4- THE STANDARD MARK
This denotes the precious metal content of the alloy from which the article is made. Sterling silver is an alloy containing 92.5 percent pure silver.
5- THE ASSAY OFFICE MARK
There are four assay offices in The United Kingdom, where articles are tested and marked. These are located in London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh. Each assay office has a unique mark which when applied to an article identifies the assay office at which that particular piece was tested and marked.
Ari D. Norman is a strong advocate of the British Hallmarking tradition. In fact, we are the London Assay Office's largest client for silver articles. As I travel the world and explain the system and what it means to our potential international clients, my words are met with respect and awe since so many of our British traditions are revered and coveted globally.
All silver articles produced by Ari D. Norman bear the full British Hallmark with the exception of some items which are either too small or too delicate, these are simply marked 925.
In 1989, we became the one and only silversmith to ever receive the right to have the Queen's Award mark struck on all silver articles. Ari D. Norman was the first ever British Silversmith to successfully apply for this award, granted in 1989, and to have the mark applied to silver items. This award is an endorsement from the British Government and Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth.