When you consider buying a special piece of Irish jewelry, you need to know that it has been crafted according to the very highest standards of quality and authenticity.
By learning more about the stamps, or Irish Hallmarks, on each ring, bracelet, necklace, and pair of earrings we offer, you can rest assured that your jewelry is crafted to last a lifetime…
Irish Hallmarks are stamped onto gold, silver, and platinum designs at the Assay Office in Dublin Castle. For hundreds of years, these stamps have provided proof of the materials used in each piece, as well as the date when they were created. Irish Hallmarks also provide a guarantee that the proper duties have been paid on each item.
Why You Should Know About Irish Hallmarks
The Hallmarks on each design offer insight into the chemical composition of the precious metals you will wear. For example, contact dermatitis can be caused by exposure to certain metals.
One common offender is nickel alloyed gold jewelry – silver can also cause sensitivity in some people. The symptoms of allergic reaction from jewelry may include rashes, swelling, blisters and redness. If you know you’re sensitive to certain metals, it’s good to ensure the purity of your jewelry through its Irish Hallmark.
For example, 10 karat gold features the assay marks 10 and 417 (which means 41.7% pure gold, the rest being a combination of other metals).
In general, the higher your degree of sensitivity to combinations of metals, the higher the purity you should look for when choosing new jewelry. If you are allergic to silver, consider opting for white gold with an Irish Hallmark that establishes a good degree of purity.
You may wonder why gold or silver aren’t available in their purest forms – the fact is, these precious metals don’t work well for jewelry unless they also have some form of alloy included in their composition.
For example, 14kt gold is 585 parts pure gold per 1000 parts, and 18kt gold offers 750 parts per 1000. Alloys made up of zinc and copper usually round out the equation.
The Irish Hallmark exists to protect the consumer – it provides safeguards that guarantee quality. In fact, if a piece doesn’t meet the standards of the Assay Office, it will not be approved. Instead, it will be returned to its manufacturer. By adhering to the standards of the Assay Office, today’s Irish jewelers prove themselves in the marketplace.
Examples Of Gold And Silver Irish Jewelry
To see some examples of what today’s most skilled Irish artisans are creating from fine precious metals, we’ve put together a list of gorgeous pieces – all of them assayed with Irish Hallmarks at Dublin Castle.
For gleaming fine silver, yellow and white gold, and even platinum designs (by special order), you can’t beat the authenticity and beauty of true Irish craftsmanship.
Every piece shown here is crafted by hand in the Emerald Isle…
These stunning Trinity Knot earrings are crafted of 14k white gold and diamonds – since the sixth century, the Trinity Knot has appeared on Celtic monuments and art treasures. This symbol of the Holy Trinity is one of the British Isles most ancient and powerful motifs.
Elegant and sophisticated, these earrings reference the traditions of Celtic interlace (knot work). Each of the Trinity Knot’s three segments are intertwined, creating a hypnotic effect.
For a touch of Celtic history that hearkens back to your own Irish, Scottish, or Welsh ancestors, choose these beautiful earrings. They are perfect for everyday, and with dressier attire.
Celtic jewelry isn’t just for women! If you’ve admired the fashion choices of today’s hottest male style icons, such as David Beckham and Johnny Depp, you’ll love this rugged men’s silver Celtic ring, with its rope trim and Celtic interlace detailing.
Fine silver is the perfect backdrop for beautiful engraving, and silver makes it so affordable. You can also collect other pieces that match your ring, such as “dog tag” necklaces or Celtic Cross pendants.
For a truly modern, edgy effect, consider layering rings or wearing a few different styles on one hand. If you’re more conservative, keep it simple and wear this singular design with tailored shirts and pants. Whichever style you prefer, you’ll find this wide, masculine band becomes an everyday favorite.
This beautiful Celtic engagement ring is a dream come true for many brides-to-be. It features a solitaire diamond, and two tones of 14k gold for richness and dimension.
On either side of the shimmering, central stone, pretty Trinity Knots decorate the band, adding individuality and a sense of history to the piece.
If you’re looking for an engagement ring that honors your heritage and stands out from all of the rest, this feminine, romantic design may be the ideal choice for you.
For more information on Irish Hallmarks you can visit our previous post on this.