The 925 in an oval is the correct symbol for silver, as per
AS2140-2008. There are arguments, but Australian standards did ask
the industry for contributions before they went to print.
I wouldn’t call the Australian standards marks, assay marks, the
term you could use is “precious metal content mark” shortened from
"designation of precious metal content mark". You can think of assay
marks as coming from the assay office, which we don’t have in
The standard does cover items too small to be stamped (and I can
quote the relevant section if you like).
I paid $50 for a PDF download, and I’ve found it to be very useful.
I wouldn’t think of it as a way of selling new marks, because I can
get metal marking stamps made up relatively cheaply. I just have to
provide the artwork. I would think that if it was a scam to sell new
stamps that a supplier would be named in the standard as the
"official" maker of the stamps.
The Australian standards are voluntary, but they can protect you
under certain conditions. As we don’t have a governing body (like an
assay office) stamping the pieces for us we have to defer to some
system, and it’s not too bad.
As it’s a voluntary standard, you don’t have to use it. I choose to
use the standard because it’s very tidy, and you can put the
Australian Standards compliance marking on your packaging, as well as
issuing an Australian standards compliance statement. If you mark
your packaging with compliance marks, or issue a compliance statement
your piece “must” be above board, otherwise you can get into trouble.
In 2008 a jeweller was taken to court over some platinum jewellery,
and the platinum mark aided him in winning his case. The Australian
standards are respected by our legal system.
As long as there are some marks that communicate the precious metal
content in your jewellery, you’ll be safe.
Kindest regards Charles A.