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Stamping mixed metals


#1

Hi Orchid,

I’m working on series of sterling silver pendants with stones set in
14k bezels. I’m wondering how to stamp them, since the bezels are
not stampable, but I don’t know about putting a 14k stamp on the
silver part of the piece. Is that ok to do or not? I know there are
many of you that work with mixed metals so maybe someone has an idea
about this. Thanks for your help,

Douglas


#2

In the UK articles made of mixed metals can only bear a hallmark for
the “lesser” metal. IE. something made from silver and gold can only
be marked as silver.

However, I’ve seen yellow metal rings with white metal stone
settings marked as 18ct & plat, but neither was an official hallmark.
Also in UK (with some caveats), it is an offence to describe
something as being a precious metal that does not bear an official
hallmark.

Regards, Gary Wooding


#3
In the UK articles made of mixed metals can only bear a hallmark
for the "lesser" metal. IE. something made from silver and gold
can only be marked as silver. 

Here in the US, as I have been taught, we are supposed to stamp
everything that’s in a piece. Thus a silver and gold piece is
supposed to be stamped both. And yes you do stamp 14kt on the silver
if the pieces are permanently bonded together - solder, fusion or
whatever. Linking a gold earring finding to a jumpring on a silver
drop, and stamping the drop 14kt. is a no-no. Then stamp each piece
accordingly.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#4

some months earlier someone said that if i have a sterling brooch
with a nickel silver pin stem, i just stamp the brooch sterling.
there was no reply from anyone about that. i have hesitated to use
the sturdier nickel silver even though i knew it would hold up
better.

is this true? i have soldered the pin stem permanently to the silver
brooch.

jean adkins


#5
Here in the US, as I have been taught, we are supposed to stamp
everything that's in a piece. Thus a silver and gold piece is
supposed to be stamped both. 

That is only part of the requirement and it is often improperly
handled even by the big boys. The Stamping Act does not allow for
the marking of all metals in one place unless you indicate which part
is what material. So you can in this example mark the pendant on the
back with “Sterling, 14k Bezel”. This indicates which part is which
and is legal. Now it should be obvious to even most idiot consumers
that in a pendant that is white and yellow that the white part is
sterling and the yellow is the 14k gold but what happens when you say
have a 18k white shank and a platinum head? You as a trained jeweler
will no doubt be able to identify the two metals but Joe consumer
will not necessarily be able to do so. This is why the law is written
that way. Now in the US it is highly unlikely you would ever be
called on the carpet by the Feds for this as it would be very
difficult to show an intent to deceive so I would not worry too much
about it but if you wish to be in compliance then read and adhere to
the guides http://ftc.gov/bcp/guides/jewel-gd.shtm

Here is the relevant section of the guides

  23.9 Additional guidance for the use of quality marks. 

  (a) Deception as to applicability of marks. 

  (1) If a quality mark on an industry product is applicable to
  only part of the product, the part of the product to which it
  is applicable (or inapplicable) should be disclosed when,
  absent such disclosure, the location of the mark misrepresents
  the product or part's true composition. 

  (2) If a quality mark is applicable to only part of an
  industry product, but not another part which is of similar
  surface appearance, each quality mark should be closely
  accompanied by an identification of the part or parts to which
  the mark is applicable. 

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#6
And yes you do stamp 14kt on the silver if the pieces are
permanently bonded together - solder, fusion or whatever. 

So how is a purchaser of the piece second hand in a number of years
supposed to know if the piece is mainly silver or white gold? Are
you saying that, if the piece were, for instance, a silver cigarette
box with gold plaques soldered on the lid and sides that it would be
acceptable to stamp a gold mark on the silver? Even if marks for
both silver and gold are applied, how would an inexperienced
purchaser know whether it was a silver box with gold plaques or a
white gold box with silver gilt plaques? The fundamental value would
be rather different…

Best wishes,
Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#7
some months earlier someone said that if i have a sterling brooch
with a nickel silver pin stem, i just stamp the brooch sterling.
there was no reply from anyone about that. i have hesitated to use
the sturdier nickel silver even though i knew it would hold up
better. is this true? i have soldered the pin stem permanently to
the silver brooch. 

Jean, the Stamping Act does take these type of findings and
mechanical mountings into consideration. In the case you mention yes,
you can use a nickel silver pin stem. Read the Guides they are not
that hard to understand (http://ftc.gov/bcp/guides/jewel-gd.shtm)
they are written to try to make the more obscure language of the
Stamping Act understandable to someone in the industry. The text from
the FTC Guides for Silver exemptions is listed below.

© Exemptions recognized in the industry and not to be considered
in any assay for quality of a silver industry product include screws,
rivets, springs, spring pins for wrist watch straps; posts and
separable backs of lapel buttons; wire pegs, posts, and nuts used
for applying mountings or other ornaments, which mountings or
ornaments shall be of the quality marked; pin stems (e.g., of badges,
brooches, emblem pins, hat pins, and scarf pins, etc.); levers for
belt buckles; blades and skeletons of pocket knives; field pieces and
bezels for lockets; bracelet and necklace snap tongues; any other
joints, catches, or screws; and metallic parts completely and
permanently encased in a nonmetallic covering.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#8
In the UK articles made of mixed metals can only bear a hallmark
for the "lesser" metal. IE. something made from silver and gold can
only be marked as silver. 

The statement below is from the new guidelines on the UK Assay
Office’s webpages - They will also accept mixed precious metals and
stamp each separately and not just to the lowest one in the piece.
“As you may well be aware the UK Assay Offices are now able to
hallmarkarticles consisting of precious metal and base metal”. The
latest hallnote includes instructions for this to be carried out.
See the UK Assay Office websites for the full details.It probably
applies to other EU assay organisations as well as theyseem to be
more or less synchronised now.

Regards to all
Robin Key
Clavis Jewellery
Aberdeen, Scotland


#9

Thanks Robin,

The new laws make a lot more sense. The complete description can be
found here:

http://www.theassayoffice.co.uk/hallmarking_mixedmetals.html

Regards, Gary Wooding


#10
Are you saying that, if the piece were, for instance, a silver
cigarette box with gold plaques soldered on the lid and sides that
it would be acceptable to stamp a gold mark on the silver? 

Welcome to America, Ian!! As Jim B. has clarified a couple of times,
there are some specifics that are “supposed” to be done, but mostly
aren’t in practice. (Gonna rush out and get those “14kt. Clasp”,
“18k Bezel” stamps…)

A gold shank with a platinum head (collet, as you say) would be
stamped 18kt Platinum on the shank. The box you mention might be
stamped on the silver and then on the gold, but more than likely not

  • all in one place, usually. Whether Jim will say that it’s correct
    or not, it’s usual practice for most. In industry, where presses are
    putting out lots of units and are stamped in stamping machines,
    you’ll get “14kt. Clasp” much more often. Just a guy in a shop
    making a box, maybe not. Even if one knows the parts should be
    individually stamped, they might not, just for convenience and the
    neatness of having a “list of ingredients” sort of thing.

I’ll tell you, I would dread the thought of having to send
everything out for stamping, and paying for it, too (which I know
isn’t so much). But it sure would be nice if America had something
like the UK has, too -we just don’t. We do try, even if we’re a bit
backwards that way…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#11
"As you may well be aware the UK Assay Offices are now able to
hallmarkarticles consisting of precious metal and base metal". 

So presumably a piece made from gold and silver will still only be
able to be stamped with the silver fineness stamp?

Helen
UK