Precious metals are rarely used in their purest form and are usually alloyed with other metals to either enhance the beauty or wear-ability of the metal. It isn’t yet possible to detect an article’s precious metal content by sight or touch, but only through testing that requires damaging the piece in question, previously leaving consumers vulnerable to charlatans and malefactors. Thus, Hallmarking was introduced. Hallmarking is the world’s first known instance of consumer protection law, dating back to about 1300 AD. It is a quality control mark on jewellery made of precious metal. Countries having no precious metal control tend to suffer from undercarating.
In the UK, it is a legal requirement under the UK Hallmarking Act (1973) to hallmark articles containing precious metals if they are described as such. Sometimes known as an assay mark, the hallmark is applied after independent testing at an Assay Office.
Dede Marconato pieces can now be traced by the assay mark and have historical reference.