Is Your Jewelry Authentic?
My Jewelry is Real, Right?
That's a great question. How do you know if your jewelry authentic?
At Biddy Murphy, you can rest assured that the precious metal pieces you are getting from us are indeed genuine. We can say that with the utmost confidence because each piece of jewelry (precious metals) receives the hallmark stamp from the Assay Office in Dublin, which is actually in the Castle Dublin.
In fact, our Chief Experience Officer, Ward Gahan, received his Certificate of Excellence from the Federation Of Jewellry Manufactures of Ireland. He completed this highly regarded accreditation program as a member of the Members of the North American Celtic Buyers Association.
History of Irish Hallmarking
Establishing the Irish guarantee of fine jewelry, the Assay Office in Dublin started in 1637. The Company of Goldsmiths of Dublin governs the Assay Office. The purpose of the Assay Office was to protect the purchasing public from any deceptive or fraudulent products when buying precious metals. This remains true today.
Hallmarking was a process that enforced standards of fineness for the quality of all gold, silver and platinum to be followed in the manufacturing of these precious metals. The stamping marks, known as HALLMARKS because, at that time, the jewelry were stamped in Goldsmiths Hall.
Today, more than four centuries later, the actual standards have improved with state-of-the-art labs, methodologies and equipment.
The Hallmark Process
There are three marks, or as you now know, hallmarks, when authenticating silver, gold and platinum jewelry.
Three Compulsory Marks in the Hallmarking Process
The following marks are required for precious metals to be authenticated by the Assay Office.
This image depicts the compulsory marks from the Dublin Assay Office for a gold piece of jewelry.
1. The Maker Mark-DAO
Also known as the Sponsor's Mark or The Responsibility Mark, the DAO image was used to identify the goldsmith (or silversmith) responsible for making the piece. Typically their Christian name and surname were used, hence the initials. Today, it can be the initials of the partners or companies initials.
2. Hibernia-Woman with the Harp
The Hibernia Mark is Dublin Assay Office's special mark, and since 2002, is used on all articles (pieces), authenticating that they were made in Ireland.
3. Metal and Fineness Purity Marks
The metal and fineness, which is synonymous for purity, indicates the amount of precious metal that is in a piece of jewelry. For instance, the 750 listed above tells you that the gold piece is 750 is parts per thousands. Simply put, it means the piece is 75% gold; the 750 stamp is equal to the US stamp of 18 karat gold.
The 18 seen in front of the Metal and Fineness Purity Mark indicates the year this piece was hallmarked by the Dublin Assay Office. The year stamp is not mandatory but can be part of the hallmarking stamp process.
Biddy Murphy's Precious Metals Hallmarked at the Dublin Assay Office
As we shared with you at the beginning of this blog, all of our precious metals are hallmark stamped at the Dublin Assay Office in Castle Dublin. This is our commitment to each of you, our customers, that you are indeed receiving authentic Irish goods, gifts and experiences.
Please enjoy our Hallmark Jewelry Collection , including necklaces, rings, bracelets, and more. Our jewelry is handcrafted and designed by family-owned, Irish suppliers who share our commitment of sharing the joy of Ireland through expert artistry skills used for centuries.