Hallmark Research Institute
 Dedicated to education and understanding in precious metal hallmarks around the world


Hallmark Research Institute

Projects Page

Read about HRI ~ Projects completed, current, future, and HRI News

Completed Project:


World Hallmarks, Volume I
Europe 19th to 21st Centuries
2nd Edition (released 2010)

  • Authors: William Whetstone, Danusia Niklewicz, Lindy Matula
  • The most current and comprehensive guide on European hallmarks available
  • Encompasses 39 countries of Europe past and present
  • Complete chapter on the Hallmarking Convention
  • Each chapter vetted by the respective country's experts
  • Historical perspective of each country
  • Each country's hallmarking system explained
  • Chronological layout of hallmarks
  • Thousands of newly redrawn hallmarks
  • 'Understanding Hallmark Basics' section
  • Dozens of actual color hallmarks photos
  • English language
  • Hardbound

Currently in development..

    World Hallmarks, Volume II

    Asia, Middle East, Africa
    with Commentary on Select
    Non-HallmarkingCountries including
    North America and Australia

    • Authors: Danusia Niklewicz, Lindy Matula, William Whetstone
    • Projected Release Date: ~REALLY Soon
    • A Complement to Volume I,
    • Covering hallmarking countries outside of Europe
    • Regions covered include EurAsia, N.Africa
    • Historical perspective of each country and their hallmarks
    • Included are new hallmarking countries
    • Chronological layout of newly rendered hallmarks
    • Never before compiled reference charts
    • Pictorial Analytical Index
    • V2 Version of Understanding Hallmark Methodology
    • Discussion of marking laws in non hallmarking countries
    • Including Fair Trade, Off-Shore Mark Chapters
    • Special Reference and Conversion sections
    • Hardbound and embossed, over 400 page with stitched spine and dust jacket

    Update: 1-2017
    The end is near! Counting the days! Notice will be posted here as soon as the manuscript is uploaded. Pre-Release pricing will be offered at that time.
    Thank you again for all for your support and patience!

World Hallmarks, Volume III,

19th to 21st Centuries
  • Authors: Lindy Matula, Danusia Niklewicz
  • Projected Publish Date: 2018-19
  • Pocket complement to World Hallmarks combining Vol. I & II
  • Complete with all hallmarks from each publication
  • Comprehensive analytical layout for quick referencing
  • Arrangement based on imagery and style components
  • Condensed information for ready referencing
  • Thousands of hallmark graphics
  • Inclusion of new marks, post Vol.I & II release
  • Handy Paperback Version

Future Projects..

Searchable App & Database Online for Hallmark Recognition

    Title: HRI Online Hallmark Search & APP

        • Searchable database
        • Searchable categories: mark shape, image, lettering, numbers, etc.
        • Location to be announced
        • Fee based on searches used
        • Projected Release Date: 2018

The Authors


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HRI News:


  • Year End Update on Volume II Progress

While every effort has been made to complete World Hallmarks Volume II and send it to the publishers by the end of 2015, HRI needs to extend the completion date into early 2016. "If accuracy and completion were not so dependent on the responses and feedback of the experts from topic countries, we would have had this book completed long ago." comments Director of Research and Education Danusia Niklewicz. The process of vetting this second volume is complicated by continual changes in political climates, language barriers, and maneuvering through invisible bureaucratic layers.  These complications have led to months of delays. Never the less, HRI continues to push on with more determination than ever knowing that soon the information that will be released will answer many of the hallmarking questions out there that remain unanswered.

  • HRI Directors Dedicated this Year to Completing World Hallmarks, Volume II
After years of research and hard work, the final process of editing and implementing the newly redrawn imagery is well underway, and the vetting process has begun. The prospects of highlighting the 50+ hallmarking countries in the rest of the world is exciting. The goals of this volume is not to just ID hallmarks but also to encourage accurate country of origin recognition, better understanding of foreign hallmarks and what they can reveal, instill respect for foreign workmanship and standards, and enter into a new generation of hallmark awareness from countries that have not been recognized for precious metal standards and control before this project. The long awaited. "World Hallmarks - Volume II - Asia, Middle East, Africa, Asia with Commentary on Non-Hallmarking Countries including the Americas and Australia" will open the doors for a better recognition and understanding of the hallmarks long misunderstood from countries like Egypt, Tunisia, South Africa, Singapore, Georgia, and many more! New to this volume is a special reference and conversion section, a chapter on the Fair Trade mark, and discussion on non-hallmarking North and South America, and Australia.  


  • Director Niklewicz Meets with Officials at the Hungarian Assay Office

Director Niklewicz had opportunity to meet with Officials, Director János Teleszky and Arpád Szúcs, from the Budapest Assay Office. Techs there demonstrated their methods of identifying counterfeit hallmarks.  The Budapest Assay Office was also where the late Past Director János Saghy had his office.  János Saghy was instrumental in introducing the directors to the International Association of Assay Office (IAAO).  Niklewicz took the opportunity to meet with Dir. Saghy's wife Judit Saghy as well.

  • HRI Lectures on Fauxbergé at Jewelry Camp

Director's Whetstone, Niklewicz, and Matula were speakers at Jewelry Camp 2014 where they presented a lecture titled "Fakes and Fauxbergé". Attended by many, this lecture won the approval of guest speaker Géza von Habsburg, Archduke of Austria and Fabergé expert, who was also in attendance.

  • HRI Lectures at the North West Gem Lab

Director's William Whetstone and Danusia Niklewicz lectured on hallmarks in Seattle, Washington. The group of professionals gathered were from all disciplines and the sessions was well received.  The meetings were held on site at the NWGL offices.

  • Hallmark Research Institute's Directors Make Progress on Volume II

Director's Whetstone, Niklewicz, and Matula have spent the last four years investigating and gathering data for the second volume in the World Hallmark book series.  With road block after road block, these three have continually worked against odds to further this project along.  With only the option of pushing the release date back, HRI never gave up on the project. 
As of Dec. 2014, the book is finally taking form. Country chapters are getting completed and the vetting process has begun.  Keep your fingers crossed and send good energies for receptive experts and officials to be timely in their reviews so that this book can be in the public's hands in the coming year!  HRI is excited at the coverage this book will have and how, finally, clarity will come to the hallmarking practices of countries that long have deserved proper recognition for their dedication to consumer protection via hallmarks.


  • HRI Meets with Officers of the Singapore Assay Office

While traveling through the Far East, Director Danusia Niklewicz ventured to Singapore to meet with the officials of the Singapore Assay Office. There she met with Ng Siew Hua (SAO Chief Assayer), Lydia Seow (Manager of SAO), and Adrian Lo (STS Director). The Assay Office was housed in the same offices that handle the ISO testing of all of Singapore domestic standards. HRI was impressed with their professionalism and willingness to work with HRI.

  • Continued Pursuits in Research by the Hallmark Research Institute Yields Mixed Results

September and October was busy for HRI as William Whetstone traveled to Morocco to learn what happened to the hallmarking practices of this intriguing country. There was some headway to the pursuit but difficulties in finding elders of the practice and limited cooperation made the trip both exciting and frustrating!

  • HRI Travels to Lisbon to Participate in the 2013 Fall Session of the IAAO Conference

Once again, the Directors of HRI, Lindy Matula, William Whetstone, and Danusia Niklewicz, were invited to the IAAO Annual Fall Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.  This year was with the potential of working on an assay office project. It became evident at the meeting that the Russian Assay Office had made progress on the project and would continue handling it to fruition.  HRI looks forward to continuing to be available for any project the IAAO may need us for in the future.

  • Hallmark Research Institute Lectures in Las Vegas to the National Pawnbrokers Association

In July, Directors William Whetstone, Danusia Niklewicz, and Lindy Matula lectured about Hallmarks on Precious Metals to the National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA) in Las Vegas and was well received. The session was followed by a book signing on their conference floor.

  • Hallmark Research Institute travels to Jordan and Dubai on a Fact Finding Mission

Director Danusia Niklewicz traveled to Jordan with HRI's Middle Eastern Consultant Dr. Christie Abbas and met with the Jordanian Assay Office's Engineer of Gold Assay Dr. Ennab to further HRI's understanding of the Jordanian method of hallmarking. Jordan has long been elusive when it comes to hallmarking.  This meeting has helped to lift the mystery and open understanding of hallmarking in this interesting country.

From Jordan, Danusia Niklewicz traveled to Dubai to meet with the Dubai Central Laboratory. At this meeting was the Head of the Gemology Laboratory Dr. Sutas, the Head of Precious Metals Dr. Al-Moosawi, and Assistant Mr. Shahdad. The Director over the entire division, Dr. Ahmed Al Mazrooei is overseeing our proposal of collaboration.  Remaining Middle Eastern countries continue to be a challenge.

  • Hallmark Research Institute Lectures in Dubai to the GIA Alumni and Students

While in Dubai, Director Danusia Niklewicz lectured about 'Hallmarks on Precious Metals' to the GIA Alumni and Students at the GIA Campus. The session provided lecture and hands on to the attendees and was well received by all.


  • Hallmark Research Institute's Directors Concentrate on Volume II

Director's Whetstone, Niklewicz, and Matula have given the lecture circuit a rest to concentrate 2012 on the research for volume II.  There is still much work to be done but it is looking good for a 2014 release.


  • Hallmark Research Institute's Directors in Warsaw for the IAAO Fall Session

Director's Whetstone, Niklewicz, and Matula were in Warsaw, Poland to meet with IAAO delegates at their 2011 Fall Session and present the strides HRI made this year in furthering hallmarking awareness.  After the meeting, the HRI directors and IAAO attendees were toured through the Polish Mint, the Warsaw Assay Office, and historic Warsaw. Followed by a trip to Krakow, the Directors were fortunate enough to spend time with Director Aleksandra Gorkiewicz-Malina at the Krakow Assay Office.

  • Hallmark Research Institute's Directors Researching in Istanbul

Istanbul was the next stop in the Fall journey abroad to seek out an expert on the fascinating world of the Ottoman hallmarking.  The leading expert and author, Garo Kirkman, met with the HRI Directors and provided insight to the intricacies of the Turkish hallmarking system.  We look forward to continued collaboration for the next HRI book on World Hallmarks.

  • Hallmark Research Institute Participates in GIA Research Symposium 2011

The 2011 Gemological Institute of America's Research Symposium “Advancing the Science and Business of Gems,” was attended by over 700 industry members from 35 countries.  The Hallmark Research Institute participated in the Symposium's Poster Sessions that ran simultaneously throughout the three day event. Described in a GIA Press Release, "The Poster Sessions provided an interactive forum where scientific, technical and business information was communicated. Attendees were able to find out the latest research and developments through 64 poster displays and direct discussion with poster presenters."

The title of HRI's Poster was "HALLMARKING, A Powerful Benefit to Consumer, Retailer, and International Trade," which presented the argument that assaying and hallmarking are a feasible prospect to implement with multi level benefits. The three HRI Directors (Matula, Niklewicz, Whetstone) were present to meet with attendees and to discuss the concepts of hallmarking.  You may download the session's summary here


  • Hallmark Research Institute in Tel Aviv for the IAAO Fall Session

The Hallmark Research Institute (HRI) journeyed to Tel Aviv for the fall session of the International Association of Assay Offices (IAAO) Meetings. HRI presented to the IAAO a current status of research in Volume II for the HRI World Hallmarks Book Series.  Consistent with the trusted relationship that has been established between HRI and the IAAO, members attending were helpful in offering their assistance in offering contacts and information where ever possible. The HRI is grateful for the continued cooperation the IAAO extends HRI.

Following the meeting HRI, represented by Director Danusia Niklewicz, joined the IAAO members in a tour of the Israel Assay Office and Diamond Museum.  A day long tour of Jerusalem for the group was arranged by the Israel Office of Standards.

HRI continued on with a special visit to the Israel Assay Office in Tel Aviv, the Ramallah Assay Office in Palestine, and then on to Egypt where Ms. Niklewicz met with the Director and staff of the Egyptian Assay Office in Cairo. 

Follow these HRI travels and more on the Hallmark Research Institute Facebook page!

  • World Hallmarks, Vol. I - Europe now available through the GIA Bookstore!

The Gemological Institute of America now offers it's students worldwide the opportunity to purchase HRI's book World Hallmarks, through their bookstore online at GIA.edu.

  • Hallmark Research Institute's 2nd Printing of World Hallmarks is Released

The Directors of the Hallmark Research Institute (HRI), William Whetstone, Danusia Niklewicz, and Lindy Matula were pleased to announce the release of their second printing of volume I, the first book in a series on World Hallmarks. After years of meticulous orchestration of artists and imagery, historic research and new information, writing and revisions, and the collaboration with experts spanning the globe, the 2010 release of this publication was welcome news to all who have waited patiently for this publication to be in print.  Within months of the first release, the book has sold out of the first run. Additions, revisions and expanding of some charts makes the second edition even more valuable as a research tool.

World Hallmarks - Vol.I - Europe 19th - 21st Centuries 2nd edition is now available here on this website, through ABEbooks, NAJA membership, 21st Street Booksellers and Judy Cohen Rare Books.


  • Hallmark Research Institute attends the IAAO Conference Geneva, Sept. 2009

In September of 2009, HRI attended the International Association of Assay Offices (IAAO) 2009 Conference in Geneva to distribute to its members copies of the newly released publication World Hallmarks - Vol.I - Europe 19th - 21st Centuries.  Each assay office received a copy in gratitude for their assistance in the research of their respective countries. Many officers expressed their thanks and appreciation, in return, for the quality of production and the immense efforts of each author to create such a detailed hallmark reference book. 

HRI vows to continue working with the members of the IAAO as a means to keeping up to date with all the changes that may occur in hallmarking in the years to come.

  • Hallmark Research Institute's 1st Printing of World Hallmarks Has Sold Out...

The Directors of the Hallmark Research Institute (HRI), William Whetstone, Danusia Niklewicz, and Lindy Matula were pleased to announce the release of their first book in a series on World Hallmarks. After years of meticulous orchestration of artists and imagery, historic research and new information, writing and revisions, and the collaboration of experts spanning the globe, the 2009 summer release of this publication was welcome news to all who have waited patiently for this publication to be in print.  Within months of this first release, the book has sold out of the first run.

Formal announcement of World Hallmarks - Vol.I - Europe 19th - 21st Centuries second printing's release was posted on this website MAY 2010.

  • World Hallmarks - Vol. I - Europe, 19th-21st Centuries is RELEASED!

The Founders of the Hallmark Research Institute (HRI), William Whetstone, Danusia Niklewicz, and Lindy Matula are pleased to announce the summer release of their first volume in a series on world hallmarks. Based on the Five S System of hallmark analysis, Whetstone, Niklewicz, and Matula bring to print a clear and informative understanding of the information precious metal hallmarks have to offer. This first volume concentrates on the hallmarking countries of Europe and their marks as they have evolved over the past 200 years.

Virtually every chapter has been reviewed and vetted by experts from International Association of Assay Offices (IAAO) and other European country assay offices. Designed for all persons handling precious metals including gemologists, appraisers, dealers, and collectors of modern and antique jewelry, silver hollowware, cutlery, and objets de art, this resource is a welcome addition to any research library.

Printed and published in the United States, “World Hallmarks - Volume I - Europe, 19th to 21st Centuries”, is anticipated to debut this July at the 2009 Antique Jewelry and Art Conference, at Hofstra University, Long Island, New York.

  • Directors of the Hallmark Research Institute address the IAAO 2008 Session

The Directors of the Hallmark Research Institute (HRI), William Whetstone, Danusia Niklewicz, and Lindy Matula addressed the assembly of Delegates attending the 2008 International Association of Assay Offices (IAAO) formally called the Association of European Assay Offices (AEAO) in London April 2008. In a brief presentation, HRI outlined their project "World Hallmarks - Volume I - Continental Europe" and conveyed their hope for the cooperation of Members of the IAAO to assist in researching details of history, imagery, dating and use of hallmarks not readily available, published or have been misreported. The HRI Directors request for assistance was met with enthusiasm and approval by every attending country.

"To have been given the opportunity to approach an IAAO assembly was an honor in itself but to have such a positive and resounding response by the members was not only amazing but very encouraging. We look forward to interacting with all the contacts we have made on this trip. We anticipate the results to be a new benchmarking in hallmark research and reporting."
Danusia Niklewicz, GG, FGA, ISA-CAPP, ASA (5/08)

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