as·say | a-ˈsā
The process of establishing the purity standards for gold, silver, and other alloys
The process of testing precious metals for clarity is called assaying. With this being said, there are specific locations where this is completed, such as assay offices. The process of assaying permits the metals to be labeled the required legal standard in the absence of the total framework of the alloy. After the piece has been assayed, it is deemed hallmarked. Hallmarking is the method of preparation consumers have against falsified jewelry or other metal pieces. The main objective of hallmarking is guaranteeing the clarity and purity of the piece, so consumers are aware of the quality of gold, silver, or platinum they are purchasing. Please be advised, it’s unfeasible to discern the purity of a metal piece by plainly looking at it - only an official assay will guarantee its quality. Today, assay offices test metal clarity and purity using x-rays and laser analysis. Nevertheless, many pieces are still hand-stamped, precisely as they were 700 years ago.