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Hallmarks

Unlike most other countries in the world, it is a requirement of law that every item of jewellery sold in Ireland, must bear a hallmark from the Assay Office in Dublin, Ireland. Hallmarks of assay offices struck throughout Great Britain, including London, Sheffield and Edinburgh are also accepted. An Assay Office is essentially a metal testing laboratory regulated by the government where a small sample is taken from each item of jewellery and tested in order to determine the percentage of gold present. Once satisfied that the purity of gold is as claimed, the item is stamped with a hallmark. This provides our customers around the world a conclusive guarantee of authenticity. If an item fails to reach the purity that it was claimed to be it is crushed and then returned to the manufacturer. A Hallmark provides the following information:

Makers Mark

This is a two or three letter stamp that tells you who manufactured the item. Each item of jewellery that we manufacture is stamped with the letters LF imprinted for Love & Friendship, Loyalty & Fidelity. Assay Mark This mark identifies which Assay Office certified the item.

Purity Mark 1

Tells you how much pure gold there is within the item expressed as a number out of 1000.

Purity Mark 2

Tells you what karat the item is (see below).

Date Mark

This is a letter contained within a square or circle and tells you in what year the item was tested. All jewellery manufactured by Claddagh Jewellers and our selected suppliers will bear hallmarks of one of the recognised assay halls. For specific queries please email us.

Karat

Karat (kt) is the standard measure of the fineness of gold on a scale, from 1 to 24, used to indicate how much of a piece of jewelry is gold content and how much alloy. 24kt gold or pure gold, also known as fine gold, is a very soft and malleable metal. In order to create a metal useful to a jeweller, other metals must be alloyed with the gold in order to make it hold its shape. A varying amount of stronger metals is used to produce 9kt, 10kt, 14kt, 15kt, 18kt, 20kt or 22kt gold.