hallmarking - making the sponsors mark..
I have not posted properly here before but have lurked about an awful lot! Having just registered with the assay office and, after readng too many threads on hallmarking I would like to ask a question about the sponsors mark. Can I keep it at home and stamp things before I send them in (mainly so I can stamp myself what doesn't actually need to go) or soes the punch have to be sent in with the irems every time? also I read somewhere that you shouldn't send in stuff with stones set - is that right?
Fantastic forum btw and hope to post some pics soon
I have kept my marks at home since I registered back in 1975 and always stamp my own maker's mark onto the jobs, you mark your jobs wherever you wish and the Assay office will add their assay marks to your maker's mark. The only rules are that the main hallmarks should be on the largest part of any job. I have made jobs with removable sections and each removable section needed an assay mark. What you cannot do is send a part in for assay and hallmarking, then add further sections of metals to the job that have not been assayed, if the assay office is marking a piece then they are guaranteeing it's metal quality so adding metal after hallmarking is illegal. If you are worried about sending in finished items for hallmarking, then for a small fee you can register your mark for laser marking, which is fine on finished items, you just have to accept that the assay office will need to remove a sample of metal for assay, unless you send them some obvious scrap metal from the job for testing.
Thanks for the reply - so that means I can get them to send my punch back with the work I sent in and stamp it myself in future? Sounds like a good option to me, are there any drawbacks as not everyone does this obviously?
No drawbacks really, if you have the right tools and a chasing hammer helps, practice punching on some scrap metal and you will soon see how easy it is and also see the faults you can have, you have to hold the punch straight and square, then make your mark with one hit. Any difficulties depend what shapes you are making, just remember that the jobs need support on the opposite side to wherever you intend stamping your mark, so some steel tools are useful. Some people prefer the Assay office to do all of their marking, especially on multiple jobs when the punches can be set in one of their machines.
If I might add a little more to James' advice about laser hallmarking, which I have used in London since its inception.
The advantages as I see them are:
1. As no punch is used there are no dents or marks to clean up on the reverse.
2. You can specify the size of the hallmark to suit your piece, instead of being restricted to the size of a punch.
3. I usually mark where I want it with a red felt tip and so far I have not had them disagree.
4. For a long time they came back withthe laser mark rather black and ugly and needed re-pickling, but in recent times the have been sent back perfectly clean.
Kind regards, Dennis.
thanks both for your advice - Dennis is it expensive to set up the laser mark first off? I too am sending off to London.
I dont know, but when I did it they made a one off charge of about £40. You can contact them here http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/assay-office/contact-us/
anybody know if they allow simple monograms for sponsor marks?
I don't thinks so, Kwant. You can have a stamp made up with your monogram on, but they will still insist on a sponsor's mark.
I'm trying to work out the cheapest way of getting the dribs and drabs I need doing. I think I neeed some kind of spreadsheet programme.
I thought not Medusa, thanks ;0)