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Getting enamelled work hallmarked?


Hi, does anyone have any advice or experience on getting enamelled
work hallmarked?

Should I hallmarking be done prior to enamelling or after. I’m
concerned about hallmarked components dropping off during enamelling
as I either torch fire, or use an unregulated trinket kiln. I’m
concerned about getting it done after hallmarking in case the enamel
is damaged.

Sarah Hemmings-Vourda


You can sign your work using ceramic ink for the last firing or so.
To make it stand out more, you can use silver or gold foil under
enamel flux (not soldering flux) If your using thin layers of
transparent enamel on thin metal, you could strike in your marks
with steel punches. The extra enamel depth in the marks will read as
darker. Subtle, but there.



Hi Sarah,

Most of my work is enamelled and if I need hallmarking after
enamelling the Assay Office in London, hallmarks with a computer
controlled lazer as well as using punches. If you are in the UK all
you need to do is register your maker’s mark for the lazering. Then
there is no stress on the enamel work. I am not sure that this
process is available elsewhere. See my enamelled pieces here;

Peace and good health to all.
James Miller FIPG


Hi Sarah. The enamel would be fine if your hallmark is laser cut
rather than stamped. Otherwise I’d enamel first.



Hello Sarah

are you in the UK? Any of the Assay Offices will laser mark your
enamelled work after polishing and all other work completed. This is
more costly, but does not damage the work to any degree.

You should mark the main body of the piece rather than any

I used to send all my silver blanks for punch marking, after cutting
out and forming. The main problem with this was that so much
firescale (sub surface cupric oxide) is created during repeated
firings, that the hallmarks became fainter during polishing &
finishing, sometimes disappearing altogether. Even though I do take
precautions to reduce the firescale (thanks to previous help from

When the hallmarking damaged some very thin rims, the very helpful
Head of Silver (John Love) at the London Assay Office suggested laser
marking. This meant I could avoid paying 80 for a ring punch, as
laser marks can be applied inside rings. The laser mark can also be
resized for larger display marks, avoiding further money spent on
larger maker’s mark punches.

A colleague recently told me that the Assay Office Birmingham works
out cheaper than London in the long term, but you would have to do
your own research on which of the four Assay Offices suits you best
(London, Birmingham, Sheffied or Edinburgh)

Laser marking works well for me, although it needs some careful
planning to get the pieces marked together in time to send out work,
rather than having a stock of hallmarked pieces ready to enamel when

Best wishes


I either get the pieces hallmarked before I enamel them or when I
send them I ask for them to be laser marked - which costs more but
doesn’t involve them being hit with a punch.


That was a massive amount to think about, I also followed your links
and looked at your work - enamels are so wonderful, and there is so
much to learn… Thank you very much for taking the time to help me. I
really appreciate it. haven’t decided what to do yet but will
probably try a couple if not all the options.

I have just got a sponsers punch made via the birmingham assay office
and wish I had posted before, as then I would have gone down the
lazering path.

many many thanks