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Silver hallmarking


#1

Hi,

When I lived in the UK, you had to take your pieces to the Assay
office to get a silver hallmark. Is that necessary in USA or can you
do it yourself?

Also, where can I get my company stamp made in the USA and do I also
have to register my company first like in the UK or can I just stamp
my pieces in the USA without registering? I have been trying to find
companies to produce a stamp but haven’t had any luck.

What are the ramifications for me not hallmarking my jewelry "925"
and selling it as such in shops in the UK but having manufactured it
in USA?

Thank you,
Jeanette


#2

Gosh – I hate cutting and pasting google in to an
email, but here are three potential sources for custom hallmark
stamps. Indian Jewelers Supply stuck me as the cheapest, when I
talked to them in Tucson in 2010.

Other Orchid participants can probably tell you about the nuances of
registering your custom logo hallmark and using a sterling or 14K
hallmark appropriately. Personally, I feel enforcement is difficult,
and use the sterling silver hallmark when my work is sterling
silver. Here are potential sources:

Harper Manufacturing Co. produces hallmark stamps made from U.S.A.
tool steel… Call now to order your custom hallmork stamp
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ft

Henry Evers Corp. Jewelry Industry, steel stamps, metal stamps,
straight stamps… straight stamps, gooseneck and bent ring stamps,
plier stamps, roll stamps, Hallmark stamps, press stamps, custom
shanks, radius or flat,…
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/fu

Indian Jewelers Supply. Full Custom Stamps. A full-custom stamp
involves a unique…
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/fv

When I looked into custom stamps two years ago, Indian Jewerly Supply
seemed to have the best prices. Other Ganoksin folks may have better
ideas. I paid over $100 for mine from the Naja Jewelry Tool and
Supply in Denver and love it. I designed it on my laptop computer
cutting and pasting the letter “A” into a paintbox program screen and
then adding a halo.


#3

Hi Jeanette I’m almost certain that you have to have it properly
hallmarked to sell in the uk but I’d check with the assay office so
you know officially where you stand and what (if any) the penalties
are. I guess it does depend on where you’re selling/supplying as to
whether you can get away with it or not.

Just to let you know you’re missing those few glorious days of
British sun!!

All the best
Laura


#4

At the risk of being pedantic. Work can really only be described as
’Hall Marked’ if it is first assayed and then stamped by an official
body, ie. Goldsmiths Halls in Britain. Otherwise it is is just
’Stamped’ or ‘Marked’ A system of trust. I am not sure of the rules
now since Britain joined the EU. It used to be that all imported
work, ie. over 1gram gold or 5 grams silver had to be delivered to
one of the ‘halls’ to be assayed and marked with a 'compliance mark’
if it came ‘up to scratch’. the compliance mark was a triangle, from
memory. The origin of the phrase goes back to the time when a sharp
needle was used to scratch the silver, an experienced 'scratcher’
could tell the difference between 925, sterling, and inferior alloys.
Google ‘Goldsmiths Hall, hallmarking’. You can find out there, and
while you are on their site have a look at:

to see the best of British jewellery and silversmithing.


#5

Not sure about the US end of things, but if you want to bring items
to the UK they will have to have a valid hallmark. Unmarked items
can be sent to one of the 4 UK assay offices, and you can have them
laser marked if they are fully finished.

There are a number of countries whose marks are acceptable in
Britain, but these are all either signatories to the Hallmarking
Convention or Houtwipper Compliant countries. Sadly, that means EU
countries and our neighbours, like Israel, and the US isn’t
included.

Not all EU countries are included - Italy, for example, lets
workshops mark their own work, which is the polar opposite of the UK
approach.

Bear in mind the exception weights, though - less than a quarter of
a troy ounce in silver is exempt from the need to hallmark, so you
don’t need to do anything if it weighs less than 7.78g.


#6

Hello Jeanette,

Not sure about the law, but you can order custom made company stamps
in bend and straight with your company logo on it, from Otto Frei
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ottofrei

in San Francisco. They also sell 925 or Sterling stamps for hall
marking.

Sigi
sigidesign.com


#7

Hi David,

It used to be that all imported work, ie. over 1gram gold or 5
grams silver had to be delivered to one of the 'halls' to be
assayed and marked with a 'compliance mark' if it came 'up to
scratch'. 

Boy, I would worry that they would mark up the finish opposite the
stamp. I wonder how that was handled? If they would re-polish, and
in the case of white gold re-rhodium? They could change the
presentation of your work slightly. It seems very cumbersome!

Mark


#8

Mark

I would worry that they would mark up the finish opposite the
stamp. I wonder how that was handled? If they would re-polish, and
in the case of white gold re-rhodium? They could change the
presentation of your work slightly. It seems very cumbersome! 

Damage to the metal is obviously an issue, or it certainly was in
the old days. Now, they use XRF machines to test the metal
non-destructively, and any items that are particularly delicate can
be given a laser hallmark, which allows for finished goods to be
sent to the assay office.

As for rhodiumed white gold, I’m not sure if they can XRF deep
enough, or if they have to take a scraping. The actual hallmark can
still be applied to laser.

Seeing the laser markers in action is a wonder to behold - it’s very
fast, and very sci-fi.


#9

Goldsmiths Hall is a large and well run organisation going back to
about 1400. From a tax gathering idea for the then king it morphed
into possibly the first consumer protection body.

Recently it has been very prominent in promoting new gold and silver
work and runs technical and educational research and publication.
Although it was a pest having to post or deliver a weeks work to the
hall, then wait for 2 to 4 days before the work was returned. Not to
mention the fee and registered postage.

The amount of damage to my work after assay and marking with 4 marks
was small. I was sending unfinished work. For an extra fee finished
work was carefully handled. And can now be laser engraved.

You just learned to work this into your timetable.

I now live and work in Australia where marking work is a matter of
trust. But you make a good point!

goldsmiths hall


#10

I have had my stock checked at random for marks several times by
trading standards inspectors. There is a minimum charge per metal but
you can send a lot of items for that charge so individually it is a
small cost.

Robin Key
Clavis Jewellery
Aberdeen, Scotland