History of use

What is a mark on a piece of jewelry?

All modern Russian jewelry and other products made of gold, platinum, palladium, silver must comply with the standards determined by the Government of the Russian Federation Decree No. 643 of June 18, 1999 “On the procedure for testing and branding products made of precious metals”, undergo testing and be branded hallmark. Products made of precious metals with various types of artistic processing, with or without inserts of precious, semi-precious, ornamental and colored stones, other materials of natural or artificial origin are subject to branding. Each piece of Russian-made jewelry must have two hallmarks: state hallmark и name man State hallmark. The state hallmark is a confirming special sign of guarantee that the product has been tested in the state. inspection, and has a fineness not lower than that indicated in the hallmark, which is applied: a) Mechanically – by impact (mechanical hallmarks using a hammer, or on machines for mass hallmarking). Imprints are applied both inside and outside. b) Electro-spark method – the print is burned with a spark running along the contour of the electrode stamp in an aqueous environment under the influence of an electric current. A distinctive feature of the nameplate for electric spark branding should be the jumpers at the top between the contour of the nameplate and its signs, as well as the entry of the electrode in front from the top. c) Laser – carried out using a laser installation. In this case, mask stamps are used. The outline of the mark is dotted. Soon it is planned to introduce another method – using “Writing laser.” The hallmark can be primary or additional. On the main frame there is an imprinted female head in a kokoshnik, looking to the right, and a digital hallmark. To the left of the female head there is a letter indicating in which territorial state inspection the product was branded. Additional hallmarks are only used for additional pieces of jewelry. It shows only a sample. Branding of separate and easily separable products is carried out as follows: on the main body of the product a full stamp is placed, consisting of two impressions – a female head in a kokoshnik, turned to the right, and a sample; on the other part of the product only a sample is placed. Name person. Name person – an imprint of the manufacturer’s mark, which is placed on all jewelry made of precious metal. It contains the manufacturer’s individual marks and marks indicating the year of branding, enclosed in a single outline. All organizations and individual entrepreneurs are required to have and put names on their products. Name marks are registered and approved by the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (Assay Chamber) annually. Imprints of the nameplate and hallmark are usually applied to the inside of the rim of rings, to the lock details of earrings, brooches and chains, and to the outside of the ear of pendants. Name structure 1 – year code
2 – code of the State Inspectorate of Assay Supervision, in the area of ​​activity where the manufacturer is located
3 – manufacturer code Since 2001, to indicate the year of production, the letters of the Russian alphabet have been used (2001 – [ASYU], 2002 – [BSYU]. -. 2011 – [MSYU], 2012 – [NSYU], and so on Further). This figure shows the manufacturer’s mark “Jewelers of the Urals” (letter code [Y]), the product was produced in 2001 (letter code [A]), and accordingly, tested at the Ural State Assay Supervision Inspectorate (letter code [C]). In the jewelry industry, there are a number of specific terms that play an important role in determining the quality and origin of jewelry. In this article we will look at what three of them mean: hallmark, hallmark and nameplate.

What is a brand?

A hallmark is a unique imprint that is applied to a product made of gold or other precious metal. It guarantees that the decoration has passed state quality control and meets the standard. Hallmarking of jewelry in our country is carried out by the Federal Assay Office.

  • code of the territorial body of the Federal Assay Office or its division;
  • ID badge – in the Russian Federation it looks like a woman’s head in a kokoshnik;
  • sample – the number of parts by mass of precious metal per thousand parts of the alloy.

What is a sample?

Fineness is a numerical designation showing how much precious metal is in the alloy from which the jewelry is made.

What does it do?

The sample directly indicates the content of precious metal and indirectly indicates the value of the alloy. The price of gold constantly fluctuates; the percentage of precious metal content allows appraisers to determine the value of an item with high accuracy, and the buyer to understand that it is genuine.

What are the types of precious metals?

The standards for gold, silver, platinum and palladium are different. Below are the most common samples for each of these metals.


Gold samples vary, but the most common are:

  • 375 (37,5% pure gold);
  • 585 (58,5% pure gold);
  • 750 (75% pure gold);
  • 916 (91,6% pure gold; also known as 22 karat gold).

In Russia, they are especially common: 375, 585, 750 and 958.


On the hallmark of the silver jewelry you can see the following numbers:

  • 800 (80% pure silver);
  • 875 (87,5% pure silver);
  • 925 (92,5% pure silver – sterling silver).


Platinum is a rare and valuable metal. The composition of the alloy is indicated as follows:

  • 850 (85% pure platinum);
  • 900 (90% pure platinum);
  • 950 (95% pure platinum).


Another metal that is gaining popularity. Palladium samples are 850, 900 and 950.

Please note: the number on the stamp indicates the content of a particular metal, but not the quality of the alloy. Manufacturers often add different ligatures to improve strength or color.

How to read a hallmark on jewelry?

  • Focus on numbers. For example, “585” means that the pure gold content of the product is 58,5%.
  • Some countries use letters rather than numbers. Keep this in mind when making a purchase abroad.
  • Examine the item from all sides. The sample is usually placed in an inconspicuous place so as not to spoil the appearance.
  • Accompaniment by other signs. Next to the number there may be, for example, a nameplate or year of manufacture. These are additional guarantees of authenticity.
  • Appearance The mark must be clear and neat. If it is blurry or unreadable, it may be a sign of a fake.
  • Documentation. A good store will always provide a certificate confirming the authenticity and quality of the item.

Where should the sample be?

An important point is the location. Understanding this will help eliminate the possibility of purchasing a counterfeit.

When labeling jewelry, two aspects are taken into account. On the one hand, manufacturers choose an area that is as inconspicuous as possible when worn, so as not to spoil the appearance. On the other hand, this should be a place least susceptible to wear so that the marking is preserved as long as possible.

  • Rings: On most rings, the hallmark is placed inside the band. This is done for convenience and safety. You may need to use a magnifying glass to see the fine details of the stamp.
  • Chains, necklaces, bracelets: The markings are usually placed on the lock or on a small tag next to it.
  • Earrings: the sample can be placed on the back of the earring or on the post. Due to limited space, information may be presented in abbreviated form.
  • Brooches and badges: The stamp is placed on the reverse side of the decoration.

Due to the item’s small size or design, the sample may be difficult to see without the aid of a magnifying glass or loupe.

How is jewelry assayed?

Assay chambers are responsible for the assay process in Russia. It consists of several stages:

  • Taking a sample: A small sample of metal is carefully taken from the product so as not to damage the product itself.
  • Analysis in the laboratory: the sample is examined using special equipment. There are several methods of analysis, including fire and electrochemical testing.
  • Calculation of precious metal content: the results of the analysis reveal the percentage of gold, silver, platinum or other noble metal in the alloy.
  • Application: the corresponding sample is applied to the product using a special tool or laser.
  • Quality control: Before the product leaves the laboratory, it undergoes quality control. This ensures its authenticity.

What is a name tag?

Nameplate is an imprint on a piece of jewelry, a unique sign or a combination of symbols indicating the manufacturer. It helps determine the origin of the jewelry and serves as confirmation of its quality and authenticity. Unlike a sample, which in Russia is expressed as a number, a name tag can be a company name, logo, initials or other unique identifier, and therefore looks more complex.

Famous jewelry houses and craftsmen use their logos or initials for this. For example, Faberge had a unique name, which is still associated with his works.

Decoding of the name

In some cases, the name is a code or numbers. They indicate the place and date of production, the specific craftsman or team who worked on the product. Geographical designations are sometimes used to indicate the place of manufacture.

By deciphering the name tag, you can learn a lot of interesting things about where and by whom the decoration was made, and what cultural significance it may have. To correctly decipher the name tag, it is better to turn to experts: some markings are easily recognizable, but there are also those that require additional research.

How not to make a mistake when choosing jewelry?

It can be difficult for a non-professional to understand the many nuances and designations. But if you know how to read the stamps, you will have enough information.

Suppose you are holding a gold ring purchased in Russia. On its inside there are three markings:

Fineness – 585. The numbers indicate that the ring is made of an alloy with 58,5% pure gold in its composition.

Next to the sample there should be an image of a woman’s head in a kokoshnik. On the side of the profile there may be a letter, for example, “M”, which indicates the region of production (in this case, Moscow). This is the mark of the state assay control, and it confirms that the sample corresponds to the declared one, and the item has passed quality control.

Next to the hallmark and hallmark there is another engraving, usually a combination of letters and/or numbers. This is the manufacturer’s name. It allows you to understand who made the jewelry.

Thus, from the marking you receive key information about the origin, quality and authenticity of this ring.

Here are some more tips to help you in the store:

  • Study the market in advance and get an idea of ​​the cost of products.
  • Read reviews and recommendations: read the opinions of other customers about the store or brand, consult with friends.
  • Consult a jeweler or appraiser before purchasing.

In any case, don’t hesitate to ask questions. This is the only way you can make an informed decision.

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