Marks on articles of precious metals
A mark is a permanent marking intended for articles of precious metals that are either punched, cast, engraved or marked by laser on the article.
The retailer of articles made of precious metals is responsible for ensuring that the articles on sale carry such marks as secure the traceability of the responsible party. Ultimately, the retailer is responsible for the products that they sell. The products must carry all the mandatory marks required in Finland.
If you sell articles of precious metals in Finland, the articles must carry:
- a fineness mark indicating the fineness of the precious metal
- a responsibility mark registered with Tukes
- Alternatively, a hallmark can be used instead of a responsibility mark.
As a manufacturer, importer or retailer of articles of precious metals you are responsible for ensuring that articles on sale bear at least the mandatory marks.
Lightweight articles do not necessarily require hallmarking. If your article weighs less than
- 1 g (gold, palladium and platinum products)
- 10 g (silver products) the article does not have to be marked.
However, articles do need to meet other requirements set for articles of precious metals, read them in the Articles of precious metals, manufacture, import and sales guide.
In addition to the mandatory responsibility and fineness marks, articles may bear discretionary marks. A mandatory responsibility mark can be replaced with a hallmark.
Discretionary marks, intended only for articles of precious metals, include control, date, locality and CCM marks. Some articles may also carry a mark known as a design mark, such as the signature of the goldsmith who made the article. Other marks can be used on articles of precious metals, as long as there is no risk of confusing them with marks used only on articles of precious metals.
Marking of articles of precious metals in Finland can be traced back to the 17th century. Further information on historical marks, that are over 50 years old, is available at the Mark Commission website www.leimat.fi.
The responsibility mark indicates who has manufacturer the article of precious metals, who it is manufactured for, who is selling it or who has imported it into Finland. The party indicated by the responsibility mark (i.e. the responsibility mark holder) is responsible for the article. The responsibility mark holder is responsible for ensuring that the article of precious metals meets the requirements set for it.
Articles of precious metals on sale in Finland must be marked with a responsibility mark duly registered into Tukes’s responsibility mark register, or alternatively with a hallmark. Tukes’s responsibility mark register contains all responsibility marks from the last 50 years. Older responsibility marks can be found at the Mark Commission website (www.leimat.fi).
Further information and responsibility mark application instructions are available at the Applying for a responsibility mark website
A fineness mark is a three-digit number. It indicates the minimum content of the marked precious metal in the article. The amount of precious metals is expressed in thousands. For example, if a fineness mark reads 925, it indicates that the article in question consists 92.5 per cent silver. The fineness mark shield shape indicates the precious metal in questions. The shield shape is a frame used around the responsibility mark.
At present, there is only one assay office in Finland hallmarking articles of precious metals, Labitium Oy, which can be contacted to inquire about assay and marking prices. Tukes does not hallmark articles of precious metals. The right to hallmark articles of precious metals is granted by Tukes, which also supervises the operations of the assay office.
You can have articles of precious metals marked with a hallmark by an accredited assay office. The hallmark indicates that an assay office has analysed the precious metal fineness of the article and has checked its conformity with requirements. Only assay offices are entitled to use a hallmark. The hallmark is a discretionary mark that can be used in addition to other marks, but it can also be used to replace a mandatory responsibility mark.
At present, there is no assay office in Finland hallmarking articles of precious metals. Tukes does not hallmark articles of precious metals. The right to hallmark articles of precious metals is granted by Tukes, which also supervises the operations of the assay office.
The date mark indicates the year of manufacture or import of an article of precious metals. The date mark is a precisely specified combination of a letter and a digit. The date marks used for different years in Finland can be found in the date mark index.
The use of a date mark is a voluntary but a recommendable means of indicating the manufacture or import date of an article. With regard to the product’s history, the year of manufacture is a vital piece of information. Responsibility marks may be attributable to different parties in different years. Further information on the history of articles of precious metals is available at the Mark Commission website: www.leimat.fi.
The location of manufacture of an article of precious metals is indicated by the locality mark. The locality mark can only be applied to articles of precious metals manufactured in Finland. Having an article marked with a locality mark is an excellent means of emphasising the fact that it was manufactured in Finland.
All locality marks can be found in Tukes’s responsibility mark register.
Since 2001, the shield shape of locality marks has been a coat of arms. The shield shape of a locality mark approved before 2001 may also be a rectangle or a square. These locality marks are still valid, unless they have been annulled. The locality marks active in the register are in use regardless of municipality consolidations. Multiple different locality marks may also be in use within the same municipality.
A municipality can apply for a locality mark from Tukes: Locality mark application
Finland is party to an international convention on the control and marking of articles of precious metals. With this convention in place, a common market for articles made of precious metals, within the area formed by the member states, has been created. Articles marked with the CCM mark (Common Control Mark) can be sold as such in all signatory states. If you are considering exporting articles of precious metals, you should also consider the use of CCM marks.
An article can be marked with a CCM mark by an authorised assay office. The assay office marks an article after the article has been checked and found to be in conformity with the requirements of the convention. Each signatory state has an authorised assay office that is authorised to mark articles.
Official documents and other materials related to the CCM conventions are available at the international Hallmarking Convention website. An unofficial Finnish translation of the convention is available here.