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Mixed metal hallmarking


#1

Hello all,

I am making a mixed metal pendent of a fine silver back plate and a
flowing copper abstract piece over a sapphire stone. How if I do
hallmark the fine silver. Im confused because of the copper. I
normally do one metal in my works.

I’ve searched the Internet for a few days now for this answer and I
have yet to come up with one.

I’ll try and post photos tonight so that you all can see. It should
be finished this afternoon so long as im certain the sapphire will
hold under the copper piece. I may need to add a holding point. I
hate to use glue. As it will be a. Sellable show piece and my very
first one.

Thanks for all the help.

Blessed Be
Samantha Ann
Once Upon A Bead


#2

In Australia, the standard says you mark the precious metal with a
percentage inside it’s metal mark, and you can mark the base metal
with its chemical symbol.

I’d be interested to see how the rest of the world does it.

Regards Charles A.


#3

if you are in usa, you do not hallmark mixed metal pieces, you
describe your contents.

John


#4

I’d be interested to know how you would mark bronze in Australia,
Charles.

Barbara


#5
I'd be interested to know how you would mark bronze in Australia,
Charles. 

The Australian standard says I can mark it as follows :-

Cu Sn

That’s it, no percentages… which suits me fine as I like to keep a
few secret recipes :wink:

If, however, I chose to make a fine silver and 90/10 bronze Mokume,
I could mark it like this :-

999 Cu Sn

Of course the 999 would have an oval around it denoting silver. If
there was a layer of 9k gold :-

375 999 Cu Sn

Again you would have the gold symbol and silver symbol around their
respective percentage.

The order of precedence is the more valuable metal comes first.
Which is a minor problem at the moment with platinum being a lesser
value than gold.

Regards Charles A.


#6

There isn’t one standard approach - it all depends on the country
you are selling in. I can’t remember the full details off the top of
my head, but in the UK, mixed metal legislation is fairly recent.
One metal is given a proper hallmark, and the other metal(s) are
given a fineness mark. It is a complex area, and you can find more
info on the websites of the UK assay offices, if you are particularly
interested.I don’t think there is any sort of ethical standard that
can be applied around the world. The only the highest value metal be
marked? Only the lowest? Should every metal be marked, even if it is
just the steel pin on a watch bracelet? If the amount of precious
metal is minute, is it OK to put a fineness mark for it on the body
of the item, instead of on the precious metal? What if there is a
single gold bead, and the rest of the beads are gold-plated silver,
on a silver body, is it OK to describe the item as silver with gold
beads? How would you hallmark it? As you can see, this stuff is
pretty complex, and that is why it took so long for the UK to make a
decision on it. Many other countries don’t have a hallmarking
system, so it will be even less certain in those places.

Jamie Hall
http://primitive.ganoksin.com


#7

I stamp my bronze clay pieces BRZ - I don’t know if they will put me
in the dungeon or not but that’s what I do here in Canada. Thanks
Charles, that’s interesting.


#8

Neither you in America nor I in Australia can HALLMARK any metal,
precious or otherwise, we can only mark it with the appropriate
purity mark. Hallmarking is only done in Britain, where every item
in silver, gold or platinum is first assayed then hallmarked by The
Goldsmiths Company’s, Goldsmiths Hall. Mixed carat metals cannot be
MARKED. See: http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1rv

Only the lowest carat precious metal can be marked and any other
higher carat precious metal described as white metal or yellow metal.
If, say, bronze were soldered to silver it would not be acceptable.
Riveted items can overcome this problem as long as different carat
metals are not soldered together. It is ilegal to sell fabricated
items in precious metal unmarked. In Australia we have a system of
trust in marking our work. Being able to mix metals has given
metalsmiths great freedom and produced interesting results.

jewellerydavidcruickshank.com.au


#9

In the UK, an item made of precious metal has to be assayed and
hallmarked if the precious metal weighs more than a certain amount
and it is not just a component of a piece.

For example, any gold object weighing more than 2.2 grams must be
assayed and hallmarked if it is a single item. A gold clasp on an
acrylic bracelet doesnt have to be assayed and marked because it is
a component of a non-precious metal object. Normally though, you
would have the clasp assayed before it is fixed to the bracelet as it
is quite reasonable to do so and saves a lot of bother when selling.
Precious metal inlaid into another material-ie steel or wood cannot
be sent to assay and therefore cannot be hallmarked. It is still
acceptable to call the gold inlay in a fine shotgun gold though but
you could not say the same for a gold ring. It would have to be
described as yellow metal tested as 18ct gold for example. There are
new hallmarking standards for palladium and some other mixed alloys
but not all of the assay offices have a standard mark (4 offices in
UK, London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh)for mixed materials.
If your item is made of say 60% pure gold it will be hallmarked as
the nearest lower assay ofice standard which is 14ct gold (58.5%
gold) and so a gem set ring with a 9ct shank and 18ct head will be
hallmarked 9ct. Other marks can be added so an 18ct ring with
platinum claws can be marked 18ct and plat but will only carry the
18ct gold hallmark.

A precious metal bracelet with steel pins in it will be assayed and
hallmarked as whatever it is constructed of and the base metal pins
and springs in catches are ignored as being components in the same
way as the gold clasp was in the acrylic bracelet example given
earlier. I hope that this makes things a little clearer, there may be
more changes in the future as the EU continues its relentless
attempts to harmonise things across a range of 19 different cultures
despite the UK’s system being the oldest consumer protection laws in
the world.

Nick Royall


#10
Neither you in America nor I in Australia can HALLMARK any metal,
precious or otherwise, we can only mark it with the appropriate
purity mark. In Australia we have a system of trust in marking our
work. Being able to mix metals has given metalsmiths great freedom
and produced interesting results. 

Silly me, David is quite correct, we don’t hallmark, I didn’t think
of it that way.

The system of trust that we enjoy in Australia is very liberating,
but can be contested. Adhering to a standard offers protection to
those that use it, and penalties to those that abuse it.

I can’t freely publish the Australian standards, but I can quote.
Also because the standards have been recently updated, we still see
the older style marking systems.

Regards Charles A.


#11

In response to David Cruickshank’s post, can I reiterate that you
definately can hallmark mixed metals under the UK assay system.
Despite out ancient traditions, precious metal legislation is a fast
moving area, and support for mixed metals has appeared only in the
last few years. Likewise, although the term “hallmark” has its origin
in the UK system, there are dozens of countries, particularly in
Europe, that have inter-operable standards of assaying and marking.
Thus the convention mark that those countries can use.

There is a much longer list of countries that have similar systems
that fall below the accuracy standards of the UK, but they still
maintain a system for assaying and marking items.If anyone has
specific needs for selling within the UK or other convention
countries, I can go into more detail, but your best bet is to visit
the websites of the UK assay offices.

Jamie Hall


#12

Hi Nick,

For example, any gold object weighing more than 2.2 grams must be
assayed and hallmarked if it is a single item. 

I’m not sure where you get the 2.2 grams from, but the weights are
7.78 g for silver, 1.0 g for gold and 0.5 g for platinum.

Helen
UK


#13

Thanks Jamie for setting me right. I have not lived / worked in
Britain for 30 years, and should have brought myself up to date
before making such a definite statement. Things were different when I
had my business there for ten years. 1971 to 1982.

I suppose that I was just trying to make a point of nomenclature. I
hasten to add that I always had the greatest respect for the rules.
and found The Goldsmith’s Hall easy to communicate with. And despite
the inconvenience in both time and money having ones work
hallmarked, I was proud to be part of the system.

David Cruickshank
Australia