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French hallmarking system


#1

Can anyone explain the present day French hallmarking system to me -
is it compulsory to have work assayed if making and selling 925
sterling silver jewellery in France. Is there an Assay system
similar to say England and if so where is it. Where would you go to
get a punch for a makers mark… Any help would be great.

jay jay


#2

You are probably right, there must be an office where you can send
your pieces already marked by the specific mark of the owner. I do
not know if you need to be registered as a goldsmith/trader. The best
you can do is to contact Janjaap Luijt he’s an expert in Hallmarks:
info@silverresearch.org This is his site:

http://home.wxs.nl/~luijt005/hallm.htm

A great overview of links to all kind of hallmark sites.

regards,
William


#3

Jay, The French hallmarking system has recently been changed to start
aligning itself with the rest of Europe. It’s still a long way off,
though. There are two recognized silver standards; 925/1000 (same as
sterling) and 750/1000 (usually only used for flatware, and some
imported pieces). Any piece OVER 30 grams has to be stamped with the
maker’s stamp AND an assay office stamp. The maker’s (or
manufacturer’s, or importer’s) stamps have to be registered with the
gov’t assay office, called the “Bureau de la Garantie” and have to
comply with various size and shape regulations. They can be made by
any proficient stamp/die maker. The assay office stamp was once the
monopoly of the French gov’t “Garantie” offices, but now can be used
by private companies and manufacturers who have met stringent gov’t
standards (on-site assay equipment, quality control, minimum
manufacturing quota, proof of tax payment, etc.). These companies
have the right to sell their assay and hallmarking services to
smaller companies, or craftsmen who don’t want to go through the
hassle of getting gov’t approval themselves. For items UNDER 30
grams; there are no required stamps, though many manufacturers, like
myself, use their own stamp, mostly to try to improve the retail
value of the piece (Look, lady, its got a hallmark stamp, even though
it doesn’t need it!). We also try to avoid anything over the 30 gram
limit! Any silver jewelry may be assayed at any time by the gov’t to
test its silver content. The fines, for a lower content are supposed
to be very high! You may find this complicated, but you should have
seen it two years ago!!! I’m not sure if the 30 gram requirement
applies to imported items. I believe so. I notice you use the French
server Wanadoo. You can contact me at @br1 for any
further

BR


#4

Jay,

The French hallmarking system has recently been changed to start
aligning itself with the rest of Europe. It’s still a long way off,
though. There are two recognized silver standards; 925/1000 (same as
sterling) and 750/1000 (usually only used for flatware, and some
imported pieces). Any piece OVER 30 grams has to be stamped with the
maker’s stamp AND an assay office stamp. The maker’s (or
manufacturer’s, or importer’s) stamps have to be registered with the
gov’t assay office, called the “Bureau de la Garantie” and have to
comply with various size and shape regulations. They can be made by
any proficient stamp/die maker. The assay office stamp was once the
monopoly of the French gov’t “Garantie” offices, but now can be used
by private companies and manufacturers who have met stringent gov’t
standards (on-site assay equipment, quality control, minimum
manufacturing quota, proof of tax payment, etc.). These companies
have the right to sell their assay and hallmarking services to
smaller companies, or craftsmen who don’t want to go through the
hassle of getting gov’t approval themselves. For items UNDER 30
grams; there are no required stamps, though many manufacturers, like
myself, use their own stamp, mostly to try to improve the retail
value of the piece (Look, lady, its got a hallmark stamp, even
though it doesn’t need it!). We also try to avoid anything over the
30 gram limit! Any silver jewelry may be assayed at any time by the
gov’t to test its silver content. The fines, for a lower content are
supposed to be very high! You may find this complicated, but you
should have seen it two years ago!!! I’m not sure if the 30 gram
requirement applies to imported items. I believe so. I notice you use
the French server Wanadoo. You can contact me at @br1
for any further

BR