Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Stamping 925 after piece is finished?


#1

I’ve just completely finished a pendant with multiple cabs set onto
a stamp-textured sterling background, bale also textured to match &
riveted into place. Argh, I forgot to stamp 925 on the backside and
I intend to sell this piece. There’s nowhere on the piece where it
can be done now.

What do you do in this case? Not worry about it?

Will be grateful for some advice! CaroL


#2
I forgot to stamp 925 on the backside and I intend to sell
this piece. There's nowhere on the piece where it can be done now.
What do you do in this case? Not worry about it? 

engrave it. that can be done anywhere. I assume you don’t have hand
engraving skills, but you don’t need to use a graver to do this.
Vibro gravers often sold to the public simply to mark identification
numbers or whatever, on possessions, can leave an attractive mark and
signature too, if you wish. Practice on scrap so as to get the speed
setting to where you get a good and atractive mark. Use a good
magnifier to watch what you’re writing if you’re writing too small
to clearly see (depends on how good your close vision is, in part).
If it looks decent under magnification, it will look fine without.

You can also do a decent job of engraving the mark with a tiny ball
bur or other bur. The key is the word tiny. half a millimeter or
smaller works best, so it’s a thinner cut. High speed handpieces, or
something like a dremel tool, with its higher speed, makes getting a
clean line easier. Using a hart bur or inverted cone, which gives a
cut wider accross than it’s height, can give you engraving that are
more calligraphic in look. Again, use as small a bur as you’ve got
for the best effect. And again, practice on scrap first.

As a last resort, you can use simply a hand scriber. But it’s harder
than cutting with one of the above, to get smooth looking writing.

Hope that helps.
Peter


#3

I would get out the vibrating engraver and write in the 925 and draw
or print your hallmark, whatever it is. When I had to send in 3
examples of how I used my hallmark for the hallmark registration, I
sent in a small piece of metal stamped and one engraved.


#4
Argh, I forgot to stamp 925 on the backside and I intend to sell
this piece. There's nowhere on the piece where it can be done now.
What do you do in this case? 

In the UK, you would send it to the Assay Office and, in such a
case, they would now mark the piece by burning the stamp in with a
laser. I don’t know if that is a legal way where you are…

Best wishes,
Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#5
I would get out the vibrating engraver and write in the 925 and
draw 

Engraving is the way, as has been pointed out, although there is such
a thing as an “unstampable piece”. You don’t have to stamp something
if it will destroy the piece in doing so. Anyway, the use of an
electric engraver is frowned upon, though it’s legal. That’s because
anybody can do it anytime after the piece is made. There is a
presumption of skill and tooling - that a professional uses stamps or
real engraving, and anybody can mark anything 18kt with an electric
engraver. It’s not that it’s illegal or anything, just that it’s
frowned upon…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#6
I forgot to stamp 925 on the backside and I intend to sell this
piece. There's nowhere on the piece where it can be done now. What
do you do in this case? Not worry about it? 

Cerrobend low melt point alloy, think sort of a metallic shellac.
Lead precautions apply but the stuff is much harder and melts at only
158 F. Poster paint or white out tends to keep the stuff from
sticking to the piece but usually just a dental pick will remove the
random bits which stick. Melt the cerrobend and inbed the piece a
bit. My worst case example was a 3mm x 5mm trademark stamp with a 2
ton press inside a highly figured ring… slight distortion but
nothing a wood mallet wouldn’t fix.

For a light small marks just hold the piece in one hand and
press/roll the stamp as hard as possible with the other hand. New
sharp stamps work better

Jeff
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#7

I often make a little “tag” or small piece of sheet just large
enough to stamp whatever info is applicable and then sweat solder
this prestamped element to wear ever it needs to go. It can be
curved, domed, etc. to fit an area.

I also often “sign” work with a .4mm round burr in my flex shaft.
Takes some practice…

Take care, Andy


#8
that a professional uses stamps or real engraving, and anybody can
mark anything 18kt with an electric engraver. It's not that it's
illegal or anything, just that it's frowned upon... 

Frowned upon by whom, John? You, obviously, but nobody in any
official or legal capacity, or anyone in any sort of judgmental role,
if there even is any such person or entity who’d make such a
judgement. It’s faintly possible that it could be an issue in
entering a few shows or competitions, but even than, I think you’d
have a hard time finding anything like that beyond back room
chatter. At least here in the U.S. I’m talking here, of course, about
hand made one of a kind work, not manufactured or “line” commercial
jewelry. In the strict commercial venue, people do expect stamps, as
you say. But it’s more a question of convention and tradition than
anything else, and certainly need not apply to art jewelry or one of
a kind / hand made work.

As it happens, I do the repair work and sizings, and similar stuff
for a local art jewelry gallery. Work by everyone from newcomers to
old timers, some of them with international reputations, but for the
most part, one of a kind work, or at least, limited editions, and
all intended as art jewelry, not commercial jeweler. I can tell you
that the use of vibro gravers, hand engravers, scribers, etc, is
quite common in this type of work. Many also use stamps, but you
can’t make a judgement on the quality of the work by the method of
marking. The vibro graver, though easy, is still a bit slower and
harder to use well than a stamp, and anyone can buy a stamp, after
all. Simple karat stamps cost less than the vibrograver even. I for
one have lots of various stamps, and use them. But I also sometimes
use the vibro graver. Under a microscope, with the aim of a nice
calligraphic look, or when signing my name, as a good ledgible
signature. I don’t generally make the choice of which to use based on
whether stamping is impossible, since it seldom is, if planned in
advance. Instead, I chose it for the look. Some pieces I simply want
to look hand signed. Rather than making it look amateurish, I think
if well done, it can make it look even more unique. Kind of like
painting. Most painters sign their work, not rubber stamp their
signature (Except in oriental work, of course, where the rubber or
actually, wood block, stamps are artworks in their own right…) I
see no great distinction between jewelry art and 2 D art here. The
mark needs to identify the maker, and the quality. Some degree of
durability to the mark is desired. In some cases, this means a stamp
is better. In others, not. It’s true that in some semi-commercial
jewelry, the stuff made as custom made one of a kind pieces, but made
by those with less than great skills, one sometimes sees unattractive
marks, which might be vibro engraved, or choppily hand engraved, and
on such work, the nature of the mark may tend to reinfoce the visual
appearance of the work being less than stellar in quality or skill
level. But when that’s the case, usually the work itself is already
the cause of that judgement, and the poor marking just backs it up.
When you’ve got a really well made and unique piece of work, and it
happens to be hand signed instead of stamped, I don’t find that at
all objectionable. Stamps have lots of tradition behind them, and of
course, in the British system, you pretty much have to use them to
get the hallmark markings too. But here in the U.S., the system
doesn’t limit you that way, and it’s a shame if one ends up making
judgements about a piece based on that traditional bias.

cheers
Peter


#9

Silly question, but you are stamping your hallmark as well, right?


#10
and anybody can mark anything 18kt with an electric engraver. 

But can’t anyone stamp 18K with a stamp and a hammer? If I didn’t
know my way around either I’d think the stamp would be easier than an
engraver. Just me.

Amery Carriere Designs
Romantic Jewelry with an Edge
www.amerycarriere.com


#11

Over here in the UK the Goldsmith’s Company runs our Hallmarking
system and they have a system that Hallmarks finished pieces by use
of a laser hallmark. All we have to do is pay a small charge to
register our unique name marks and then a fee every time we send
goods for hallmarking. I am surprised that a system of this type is
not available to you jewellers in the USA. If anyone is interested
in reading about the laser process check out the goldsmith’s website,
here is a link to their hallmarking section

http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/assayoffice/hallmarkingservices.htm

Peace and good health to all
James Miller FIPG
https://www.ganoksin.com/orchid/jmdesign.htm


#12
Stamps have lots of tradition behind them, and of course, in the
British system, you pretty much have to use them to get the
hallmark markings too. 

As Ian Wright from Sheffield, UK pointed out the other day, in the
UK there is now an alternative to stamping, and that is laser
marking.

As far as stamping is concerned, as most probably know, the British
hallmark consists of at least three marks (the fourth being the date
stamp which is sometimes applied). The three marks are the sponsor’s
mark (that’s your mark), the assay office mark and the fineness
mark. For any precious metal piece to be sold, it MUST be hallmarked
IF it’s over a certain weight: 7.78g for silver (sterling or fine),
1.0g for gold and 0.5g for platinum - and if it’s a mixed metal
piece, it is hallmarked with the fineness of the lowest value metal.
The sponsor’s mark can be applied by the maker or by the assay office
(you decide when you register with the office whether you want to
keep your stamp and stamp your work before sending it for the other
two marks to be applied - or whether you want them to keep the stamp
and do it for you).

The offices now offer the laser alternative to the stamped mark, but
it is more expensive. It may be a good alternative to stamps for the
odd piece like the one in question, for makers in the UK. I’m not
quite sure I understand the US system for stamping/hallmarking. Is
there a government agency involved or not? Are there facilities for
laser marking - I’m not sure what type of laser equipment is used for
marking jewellery - whether it’s similar to or the same as the laser
welding machines but using a different setting? Who regulates the
system in the US? Please excuse my ignorance.

Helen
UK
http://www.hillsgems.co.uk


#13

Just to clarify though, US law requires either a hallmark or the
name of the creator if you stamp a quality on jewelry. You can’t just
stamp the quality - it’s either both stamps/marks or none at all.


#14
But can't anyone stamp 18K with a stamp and a hammer? 

They {maybe} could, if they had a stamp. That’s the presumption of
tooling that professionals have. Everybody and their aunt has an
electric engraver - mine cost $9.99 somewhere long ago. Yes, and a
trademark is required, too. "not just 14kt, but who says it’s 14kt?"
As James Miller said - in the UK only the Hall can stamp at all. In
America it’s at least considered proper to use proper tools.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#15
But can't anyone stamp 18K with a stamp and a hammer? 

I purchased a 14K stamp in downtown los angeles from a jewelry
supply house. If I could walk in and do it, anyone else could.

Amery Carriere Designs
Romantic Jewelry with an Edge
www.amerycarriere.com


#16
Just to clarify though, US law requires either a hallmark or the
name of the creator if you stamp a quality on jewelry. You can't
just stamp the quality - it's either both stamps/marks or none at
all. 

Is there anyone who enforces this law? I"m not trying to get around
it, I’ve just never experienced anyone checking, nor have I heard of
it. Any stories?

Amery Carriere Designs
Romantic Jewelry with an Edge
www.amerycarriere.com


#17
Is there anyone who enforces this law? I"m not trying to get
around it, I've just never experienced anyone checking, nor have I
heard of it. Any stories? 

The FTC enforces this, but not actively, such as going around and
doing spot checks. Rather, if someone has a problem with a vendor or
producer or the like, and finds their item under karat, or otherwise
incorrectly marked, they can file a complaint, and THEN it gets
investigated. That happens only rarely. There ARE penalties for
violating the karat marking laws, but actual prosecutions seem to be
rare, limited to those instances where it’s a pretty major and
ongoing violation. For the most part, policing of the law is done by
the consumers, resellers, and the like, who may refuse to buy or sell
work that’s not correctly marked. That, by itself, is pretty
effective as an incentive to most jewelers to follow the rules…

Peter


#18
Is there anyone who enforces this law? I"m not trying to get
around it, I've just never experienced anyone checking, nor have I
heard of it. Any stories? 

The FTC is the enforcement agency. But I think the likelihood of
them checking on a small artisan is pretty slim. The only enforcement
actions I have seen are against larger companies.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#19

Well, I don’t have time to do open records requests, but bear this
in mind. It’s a Federal law, and I believe it was in 1970 that they
opened it up so aggrieved customers or competitors could initiate
the charges and that the violator would have to pay the complainant’s
court costs if found guilty. If found guilty, it’s a misdemeanor and
up to $5,000 fine.

http://www.ftc.gov/foia/readingroom.shtm - you can make a request
here for public records.

I don’t quality stamp, mostly because I normally use mixed metals. I
do more artsy type stuff than bling so my customers aren’t normally
too concerned about metal content. :slight_smile:

Cate


#20
Is there anyone who enforces this law? I"m not trying to get
around it, I've just never experienced anyone checking, nor have I
heard of it. Any stories? 

Once upon a time, down the hall - in fact where Revere Academy is now

  • was a chain dealer. All of us in the trade and in the building knew
    that their chains were bunk, though they were stamped 18kt or
    whatever. One day the FBI came by and closed them down, filed charges
    for fraud, all sorts of things - some millions of dollars. Now, it is
    a fact that this all was in response to complaints, not through the
    efforts of some “stamping police”, but it is still so that
    misstamping can be considered fraud. I lately stamped a stock ring
    14kt that was actually platinum - it was just a setting job - but
    that was a mistake that was corrected. Same goes for the “but anyone
    can buy a stamp” thing. When you get to that stage you are talking
    about criminals, not a “how should jewelry be stamped” discussion.
    There are people spot-checking imports, and I know the local Macy’s
    quality control guy. At an art fair it’s not so much an issue unless
    it becomes one locally. The broader thing they are concerned with is
    the quality of metals in America - billions of dollars.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com