History of Hallmarking in Ireland
The Company of Goldsmiths Crest
17th to 21st Century
Hallmarks are the oldest form of consumer protection and work as your guarantee of quality and fineness when dealing with precious metals. Assay offices were established and given the authority to verify the content of items produced by silver and goldsmiths. The Dublin Assay Office was established in 1637 and founded by Royal Charter in the reign of Charles I. The office supervises the assaying of all precious metals sold in Ireland and retains this authority to the present day. The forgery of these marks was punishable by death.
The Dublin Assay office is located in Dublin Castle and is one of the leading offices in Europe, applying standards that are recognised and respected throughout the world.
To find out more about the Dublin Assay Office, visit www.assay.ie.
The 1916-2016 Centenary Hallmark
This limited edition frame has an exclusive centenary punch that was designed by The Company of Goldsmiths in Ireland and depicts the Book of Kells trinity know. This once-off additional mark is to commemorate the key event in the formation of the state, the 1916 rising. This hallmark can be applied to Irish manufactured sterling silver items such as those produced by Celtic Frames. The centenary mark is available only until 31st December 2016 when on that date the punch will be destroyed. All objects obtaining this mark will be held in special status in the future.
The Maker's Mark
This punch indicates the manufacturer or sponsor of the article. The Makers mark was introduced as a way to trace the product back to its source. The mark on this product consists of the makers initials: CFL which stands for Celtic Frames, a company that has produced the highest quality sterling silver products since 1987.
The Assay Office Mark
This punch identifies the Assay Office at which the Silver was tested for purity and given its stamp of guarantee. In Ireland, there is only one Assay Office and it is located in Dublin castle where it has stood since 1637. The Dublin Assay mark is symbolised by a seated Hibernia (symbol of Ireland).
The Fineness Mark
The component of the set of hallmarks that denotes that the silver is warranted to be of the stated standard. The criteria for this standard is an Alloy containing 925 parts out of 1000 pure silver. All articles made by Celtic Frames are made of Sterling Silver which contains 92.5% pure or fine Silver. The mark is symbolised by the symbol .925 or the crowned harp.
The Date Letter (Optional Mark)
One of the hallmarks that can be applied to sterling silver is that denoting the year to which the piece is assayed. This is in the form of a letter of the alphabet in a distinctive style and surround.
For more information please visit www.assay.ie