Each item of Claddagh Design jewelry is guaranteed Irish. As part of this guarantee we send every piece of jewelery to the Irish Assay office to be stamped with a full Irish hallmark. This assay office is based in Dublin Castle and is the only one in Ireland. It has been testing and hallmarking precious metal in Ireland since 1637.
In this article I will go through the hallmarking process and will show you the different stamps that make up an Irish hallmark.
Assay Office Certificate of Registration
A silversmith who wants to have their jewellery hallmarked first need to register with the Assay office. Once a maker is registered they receive a certificate which lists their makers mark. I am registered as Eileen Moylan and so was issued the makers mark 'EM'. When looking at a hallmark the makers mark will always be the first stamp on the hallmark. It is possible to trace the maker of any hallmarked piece as no two makers marks are the same.
Stamping my Makers Mark on a Claddagh Ring
I have my own makers mark punch which I stamp on the piece of Claddagh jewelry I have made. Once I stamp the piece with my makers mark I send it to the Assay office where they test the metal and add the other stamps needed to make up a full Irish hallmark.
Sending Claddagh Jewelry for Hallmarking
The second mark which is added by the Assay office, once they have established the quality of the silver is the mark of Hibernia. This mark has an image of a woman sitting with a harp. The third mark is the metal purity and fineness mark. This is indicated by a number stating the percentage of the particular precious metal present in the piece. Sterling silver which is used in all Claddagh Design jewelry is 92.5% and so the piece will be stamped 925. Once these marks have been added the Assay office send back the jewelry which now bears a full Irish Hallmark.
Full Irish Hallmark on Claddagh Ring
To view examples of Claddagh Design's hallmarked Silver and gold jewelry, please visit our online jewelry store.