A hallmark is an official mark or series of marks struck on items made of metalmostly to certify the content of noble metals —such as platinumgoldsilver and in some nations, palladium.
For estate jewelers and jewelry historians, hallmarks provide for an extra source of information to accurately date a jewelry object and determine by whom it was made. Although the study of hallmarks serves as a wonderful research avocation to many involved in the antiques trade, a trained professional can, and should, put such a desired object in the proper time frame without the presence of such marks. Contemporary jewelry historians use hallmarks for research purposes but these hallmarks were never intended to make the life of appraisers easier. Rather, they were an early type of consumer protection.
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