Assay Office

The analysis and assay of precious metals along with the expert assessment of jewellery and precious stones are unique competences of the Estonian Assay Office!

Jewelry buyer ABC

Any type of jewellery made of precious metal and sold in Estonia must be marked with a sponsor’s mark and a fineness mark. The sponsor’s mark provides information concerning the manufacturer or importer of the piece of jewellery. The ownership of Estonian sponsor’s marks can be checked in the Register of Sponsor’s Marks.

The fineness mark shows the proportion of pure precious metal in the alloy of the piece of jewellery. The fineness mark (alloy assay) is stated in a system of thousandths (the quantity of precious metal in 1,000 parts of the alloy). The carat marking of articles of precious metal is not allowed in Estonia. All the marks affixed to a piece of jewellery must be clearly legible.

When buying a piece of jewellery, preference should be given to articles which in addition to a sponsor’s mark and a fineness mark also bear the control mark of an EU Member State (the Estonian control mark is a lion). A piece of jewellery marked with a control mark has been verified by the state’s assayer (in Estonia the Estonian Assay Office) and definitely corresponds to the fineness mark affixed to it. A buyer may ask the seller to have a control mark affixed to the piece of jewellery.

When buying a piece of jewellery made of precious metal:

  • Make sure that the locks and fasteners of the piece of jewellery you are wishing to buy work properly.
  • Make sure the surface and soldering points are clean and of high quality.
  • Make sure the links or parts will not get tangled in clothes while wearing it.
  • Keep in mind that lighter products of hollow material are not suitable for everyday use. They are fragile and can be easily deformed while being worn and the subsequent repair of such jewellery is expensive.
  • If you are allergic to nickel, only buy silver jewellery marked with the control mark of an EU Member State. The coating material of silver jewellery manufactured outside the EU may contain nickel.
  • If the piece of jewellery contains precious stones, ask the seller for a document describing the data concerning the stones. The necessary data in the document must include the name of the stone, the mass (ct) of the stone and a description of the origin of the stone (natural, synthetic, improved). In the case of larger diamonds (over 0.1 ct), information about clarity, colour and cut characteristics is also important. In the case of pearls, it is important to make a distinction between cheaper freshwater pearls or more expensive saltwater pearls.
  • Make sure that the purchase receipt contains the name, mass and article number of the piece of jewellery as well as the main precious metal of the alloy used and the fineness thereof. This information allows you to identify the piece of jewellery and helps to resolve any possible issues. Keep the purchase receipt until the end of the period for submitting complaints.
  • Keep in mind that buying an expensive piece of jewellery over the Internet may be risky. When making a purchase, make sure that all the information described above concerning the piece of jewellery is included in the sales document.
  • Keep in mind that during the period for submitting complaints (two years from the date of purchase of the article), you have the right to present a written complaint to the seller or contact the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority in the case of deficiencies of a technical kind.
  • If you have any doubts regarding the authenticity of a purchased article of precious metal or precious stones, contact the Estonian Assay Office for an independent expert assessment.

    We will answer your inquiry as soon as possible.