|The Irish Hallmark is the most
reassuring of quality guarantees
and one of the oldest forms of consumer protection.
The fact that you're exploring our online collection indicates that you look for
the best when purchasing jewelry. After all high quality jewelry that is
authenticated with a renowned hallmark is a good financial investment that can
increase in value and becomes a heirloom.
For example, many consumers will purchase hallmark jewelry from Tiffanys for
this very reason; the reassurance that what you're paying for is in fact made from
its stated precious metals. In fact if our jewelry does not meet hallmarking standards
it is crushed with a hammer and sent back to the workshop.
Most people buy our jewelry because it carries one of the oldest hallmarks in
the world. All jewelry of precious metals made in Ireland must carry a hallmark.
The Irish hallmark is distinctive and distinguishes it from imported jewelry.
The hallmark has been used since 1637, so whenever you buy a piece of Irish
made precious metal jewelry, look for the hallmark and you know you are
getting the very best quality.
|More great Hallmark facts.
The Assay Office, which hallmarks Irish jewelry, is located in the Dublin Castle.
It is The Dublin Goldsmiths Company which controls and conducts the Assay
Office. The company was established and incorporated by royal charter of
Charles 1 dated 22 December 1637. The craft of goldsmith existed in Ireland
long before this, during the prehistoric times as early as 1800 B.C. It flourished
also following the introduction of Christianity in the fifth century and during the
medieval period following the Anglo Norman invasion in 1169. There is mention
occasionally of individual goldsmiths in Dublin from 1200 onwards and of the
existence of a guild of goldsmiths in Dublin during the sixteenth century.
The actual document containing the charter of 1637 still exist and is in possession
of the company. It is lengthy and comprehensive containing numerous clauses
granting very wide and plenary powers. Briefly, the important provisions were:
a company was established as a body corporate with powers of perpetual
succession and the control of the manufacture and sales of all gold and silver
wares in Ireland was vested in it.
The powers given included enforcing prescribed minimum standards of fineness
for the quality of gold and silver to be used in manufacture, and the submission
to the company of all gold and silver wares for assay and hallmarking. As well,
ancillary powers such as that of making bye-laws holding property, search,
seizure and destruction of sub standard wares were given by the charter.
The marks stamped are known as hallmarks, so called because they were stamped
in the Goldsmiths Hall, the name by which the Assay office would have been
more widely known in its early years as it was also the meeting place of the
company and still is.
During the now almost three and a half centuries of the company's existence
its powers have been extended several times by act of parliament and by
government order to meet changing conditions. Modern equipment and methods
of assaying have been introduced in its laboratories. Fundamentally, however,
the original purpose, which was to protect the public from fraud when buying
articles of gold and silver, still remain.