The term hallmark comes from ‘Mark of the Hall of Goldsmiths’ in London, who were the first official assay hallmarking office, decreed by Parliament to control the standard of precious metals circulating in the British Isles. To this day they still operate one of four authorized assay offices in Britain.
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The use of gold jewelry can be dated back to Egypt 3000 BC. Gold was the preferred metal for jewelry making during ancient times. It was rare, it was easy to work with, and it never tarnished.
Those who dabble in decorative fine arts often take offense to the notion that their endeavor is less important than the “fine arts.” With the fine arts, they say, there is at least some purpose behind it, unlike the fine arts (namely, painting, drawing, photography, and large-scale sculpture), which only function is to be looked at.