Hopefully they have electronic assays now.?
I am not sure exactly what the rules are now.
When I worked in England last in 1982 the rules went back to AD1300s
and something, They were basically.
You have to supply / choose your personal stamp and have it approved
by the Hall, ‘The London Assay Office’ You cannot do your own
’Hallmarking’, it must be done by the Assay Office. The term
’Hallmarking’ is only valid in Britain and strictly speaking the rest
of the world only ‘marks or stamps’ jewellery or silversmithing, NOT
’HALLMARK’ As it is not assayed before sale. Stamped work in other
countries is sold on trust, In Australia for example I have had to
point out very occasionally to repair customers that their 'valued’
ring is not what it is stamped as. In Europe, when I worked in
Denmark the workshop was visited by officials who took metal samples
and visited shops where the work was sold. Heavy penalties were
incurred if metal was not as marked. In Britain no items in precious
metal could be sold unless Hallmarked or else had to be described
only as 'yellow metal or white metal if not hallmarked. Non precious
metals could not be soldered to precious metal. But could be riveted.
Heavy penalties could be given for falsifying marks or claiming
unmarked work as made from precious metal.
Google: Goldsmiths Hall or, The Worshipfull Company of Goldsmiths.
The London Assay Office, Goldsmiths Company. In 1982 all imported
work had to have a ‘compliance mark’ So your agent would have to
deliver your work to the ‘Hall’ back door, not the grand entrance.
Cant remember the address in Hatton Garden and pay the fee for
Sampling, Assay and Stamping. You could pay an extra fee for extra
care, probably worth while for finished work. You could supply a
sample of Silver so that they did not scrape off too much for their
assay sample. They may have electronic sampling by now. Leave space
for 5 marks.
Then your agent will have to pick it up and to get someone to tidy up
and re polish. As a working jeweller I sent a weeks work in near
finished state to the ‘Hall’ and it would be returned to me, marked,
for me to finish and polish 5 or 6 days later. I have heard the rules
may be different now since entry to the EU. Actually I always found
the Hall very fair and helpful, you just have to accept their
Bear in mind, that if your metal does not come up to SCRATCH ie is
not 925 or whatever It may be destroyed. The term ‘coming up to
scratch’ comes from the time when the assay test was just a scratch
with a needle by an experienced man. Try to scratch a piece of 925
silver with a needle then a piece of slightly lower silver 900 and you
should feel the difference.
Perhaps send the enamel part unset with the setting and have it set
in England after marking. Or don’t send the enamel at all, just the
setting to be marked. Have you got a website love to see you work.
Hopefully they now have electronic sampling or have relaxed the
rules. Perhaps Europe would be easier if there are problems.
Have a look at whoswhoingoldandsilver.com all the Goldsmiths Hall
and the Assay office departments / sites are available from it + you
can see lots of sumptuous modern British work.