hallmark

[hawl-mahrk]
noun
1.
an official mark or stamp indicating a standard of purity, used in marking gold and silver articles assayed by the Goldsmiths' Company of London; plate mark.
2.
any mark or special indication of genuineness, good quality, etc.
3.
any distinguishing feature or characteristic: Accuracy is a hallmark of good scholarship.
verb (used with object)
4.
to stamp or imprint (something) with a hallmark.

Origin:
1715–25; Goldsmiths' Hall, London, the seat of the Goldsmiths' Company + mark1

hallmarker, noun
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
hallmark (ˈhɔːlˌmɑːk)
 
n
1.  (Brit) an official series of marks, instituted by statute in 1300, and subsequently modified, stamped by the Guild of Goldsmiths at one of its assay offices on gold, silver, or platinum (since 1975) articles to guarantee purity, date of manufacture, etc
2.  a mark or sign of authenticity or excellence
3.  an outstanding or distinguishing feature
 
vb
4.  (tr) to stamp with or as if with a hallmark
 
[C18: named after Goldsmiths' Hall in London, where items were graded and stamped]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

hallmark
1721, official stamp of purity in gold and silver articles, from Goldsmiths' Hall in London, site of the assay office. General sense of "mark of quality" first recorded 1864.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They were either hallmarks of full dress, or nonexistent.
Hallmarks of an ideal position have little to do with weather, lifestyle, or
  socio-political milieu.
There are rooms and hallmarks in and around my city's natural history museum
  that have not changed for many decades.
During the embryo stage of life, cells become organized into tissues and
  organs, one of the hallmarks of all animal species.
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