Hallmarking and deceptive practices with online jewellery

What's a Hallmark?

At RK Jewellery Designs, we understand that buying jewelry can be confusing and overwhelming, especially when it comes to understanding hallmarks. Many people have heard the term but are not sure what it means or what to look for when purchasing a piece of jewellery.

A hallmark is a symbol of quality assurance, guaranteed by the government assay office, and is a way to protect the public from purchasing poor quality, illegal jewelry. The hallmark is a rigorous test of metal purity that has been in place since the 13th century. It's not to be confused with a simple stamp such as 925/375/750, which can often be found on lower quality jewellery.

At RK Jewellery Designs, we take pride in our registered sponsor's hallmark, the shield with the RK letters that make up our company logo. We strongly advise our customers to look for this hallmark on any jewellery they purchase, or to ask us for details if they are unsure.

Alongside this we can often help you in tracing a piece of jewellery's history by investigating the Hallmark, please use the Contact Us page if you would like our help.

For more information about the hallmarking system, visit https://www.assayofficelondon.co.uk. Our goal is to provide you with the information and resources you need to make an informed and confident purchase of high-quality jewellery.

So what's all the fuss about?

We all love a bargain, but recently there has been a huge rise in unscrupulous sellers of fake jewellery, often from the overseas. To the untrained eye this may seem perfectly real but the bargain falls apart on closer inspection. We have put together a case study of a ring sold as sterling silver and stamped with a 925 mark bought from a popular online platform for a bargain price and will dissect the ring here for you to show you what is actually being sold.

The ad


The description

 product description competitor site

The ring.


The ring on first inspection looks good, carries a 925 stamp (a standard mark for sterling silver on cheap jewellery) but feels a little light to someone used to handling gold and silver. It also feels slightly warm...could it be that our bargain is not what we thought?

The gemstone


Sold as a genuine zultanite/alexandrite/spinel The gemstone is in fact a lab grown synthetic version, worth considerably less. Lab created gemstones are a fantastic asset and we encourage them wholeheartedly, but only when you as a member of the public are made aware of the fact. On closer inspection we found that this stone is extremely soft (around 2 on the Mohs scale, similar to your fingernail), making it completely unsuited to use in this type of ring. This means that the stone will scratch and get damaged very fast...buy cheap buy twice!


The ring has been electroplated with a thin layer of silver metal over a copper layer-common in electroplating. We have not tested the metal but it is very likely a paper thin layer of silver that will just rub off...something is clearly not right here!

The inside section

The inside section of the ring is made of what we suspect to be a brass copper alloy known as "gilding metal" which is yellow in colour, whatever it is it is clearly not 925 sterling silver and should not legally be sold in the UK.


It's simple, this ring ~(and millions like it) are a rip off and deceptive. The legal requirement of hallmarking (not just a number stamp) is what protects you the consumer from items like this. Whether you choose our fantastic jewellery, or that of another reputable company- make sure that your gold, silver, platinum or palladium is hallmarked and beware of bargains online- they are often not what they appear!


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