noun \ˈhl-ˌmärk\

: a quality, ability, etc., that is typical of a particular person or thing

: an official mark that is put on gold and silver objects in Britain to indicate their purity

Full Definition of HALLMARK

a :  an official mark stamped on gold and silver articles in England to attest their purity
b :  a mark or device placed or stamped on an article of trade to indicate origin, purity, or genuineness
:  a distinguishing characteristic, trait, or feature <the dramatic flourishes which are the hallmark of the trial lawyer — Marion K. Sanders>

Examples of HALLMARK

  1. He had all the hallmarks of a great baseball player.
  2. Humor is one of the hallmarks of her style.
  3. The murder bore all the hallmarks of a serial killer's work.

Origin of HALLMARK

Goldsmiths' Hall, London, England, where gold and silver articles were assayed and stamped
First Known Use: 1721

Other Business Terms

amortize, caveat emptor, clearinghouse, divest, due diligence, emolument, green-collar, marque, overhead, perquisite



Definition of HALLMARK

transitive verb
:  to stamp with a hallmark

First Known Use of HALLMARK



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Symbol stamped on an item of silver or gold to indicate that it conforms to legal standards of purity. Hallmarking in Britain dates from 1300; no gold or silver could be sold until tested for purity and struck with the king's mark. A maker's mark was introduced in 1363; at first a symbol, such as a fish or key, it came to include or be replaced by initials. A “hallmark” was a mark made at Goldsmith's Hall, London. In the U.S., no hallmarks were initially required. In the late 18th and early 19th century, local regulations were established in New York, Boston, Baltimore, and elsewhere; makers' marks appeared and the words “coin” and “sterling” were stamped on silver objects. In 1906 the use of the words came under federal regulation. Hallmarks on gold, similar to those on silver, are also subject to federal regulation.


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