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Patstone
06-07-2015, 02:57 PM
I attended a craft show last weekend and spoke to a lady who said she was a silversmith too. She actually bought gold and mainly silver jewellery and took it apart and re-crafted it into something else. Surely if the item was secondhand and had a hallmark originally what happens if its over the 7.78 grams allowed, does it have to be re-hallmarked. I have an identity bracelet which my mum gave me for my 21st and I was wondering about making it into a hammered pendant, it is quite a heavy piece, but it could be made nice with perhaps a small stone in it, I dont want to sell it but if I did, what are the rules.
Also...... I make jewellery out of sheet silver and silver wire, pierce, drill and solder into rings, pendants etc am I a silversmith or goldsmith. It was an ongoing discussion as someone said silversmiths make things like cutlery, whereas goldsmiths make jewellery.

SteveLAO
06-07-2015, 03:20 PM
Going back into history, I understand the term "Goldsmith" was a generic term and covered anyone who worked in any precious metals (In those days, gold and silver) which is why we have a Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, and not a Worshipful Company of Silversmiths as well! These days, the description is a bit more vague but my understanding is a goldsmith is generally involved in making jewellery, whereas a silversmith is generally involved in making large items such as bowls, plates, cutlery and so on. Both need to be working in precious metals, otherwise they would be called metalsmiths?

Regarding your lady at a craft show, if she is reworking already hallmarked items into something else then she is contravening hallmarking regulations - and the same would go for you and your id bracelet (assuming that you want to sell it!!)

If you want the legalese....here you are from the hallmarking act which says that you are not allowed to:

1.Make an addition, alteration or repair to an article bearing approved hallmarks, except in accordance with the written consent of an assay office.

2.Remove, alter, transpose or deface any hallmark struck on an article, except in accordance with the written consent of an assay office.

so if you wanted to play around with already hallmarked articles it would have to come back to us, and we would cross out the old mark and then treat is at unhallmarked and process it accordingly.

pearlescence
06-07-2015, 04:05 PM
Well, you learn stuff every day. Thanks Steve, you fountain of information you!
Out of interest, how often does stuff arrive for de-hallmarking? Is there a form (hallnote for marking, perhaps backporchnote for de-marking?)

SteveLAO
06-07-2015, 04:31 PM
Sadly not nearly as often as they should! ( Don't get me started, for example on those silver rings and bangles that have been made out of old spoons and sugar tongs!!! ) I think a lot of it is down to ignorance....they genuinely don't know they are contravening the act! It's not really an excuse though!

pearlescence
06-07-2015, 04:48 PM
So...if something - say a ring - goes for melt should that visit you first for de-hallmarking, since it is going to go into a new ingot or whatever?

Aurarius
06-07-2015, 06:23 PM
so if you wanted to play around with already hallmarked articles it would have to come back to us, and we would cross out the old mark and then treat is at unhallmarked and process it accordingly.
Just out of interest, how would you go about crossing out deeply punched marks on the shank of a fairly thin eternity ring, say? If you have to grind off the entire mark this might reduce the thickness of the shank considerably at that point, and then the whole shank in that area would have to be reduced to the same thickness by the jeweller so that no obvious concavity remains.

The least damaging solution I can think of would be for the original punch marks to be weld-filled, and then for you to put new punch marks in over the top. Is weld-filling something you would advise customers to do in these circumstances? If they don't do this will you just grind off the old marks and leave it up to them how they resolve the concavity you've put in the ring shank? Resolving that problem would be particularly difficult for them if you put the new mark in next to where you've just ground off the old one, because then it would be virtually impossible for the jeweller to remove material around the concavity where the old marks used to be without removing the new hallmark as well.

Maybe you adopt a different approach I haven't thought of.

Wallace
06-07-2015, 07:25 PM
back on another forum (http://www.larsandingrid.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?4645-Existing-hallmarks-on-new-piece-and-gold-plate-query/page3&highlight=spoons) you advised about a certificate Steve, does this still apply?

oh - what does a removed hallmark look like? 7885

this was done at London, as BAO refused to delete it, deferring it to the original AO at Sheffield!!

Tabby66
06-07-2015, 10:37 PM
Going back into history, I understand the term "Goldsmith" was a generic term and covered anyone who worked in any precious metals (In those days, gold and silver) which is why we have a Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, and not a Worshipful Company of Silversmiths as well! These days, the description is a bit more vague but my understanding is a goldsmith is generally involved in making jewellery, whereas a silversmith is generally involved in making large items such as bowls, plates, cutlery and so on. Both need to be working in precious metals, otherwise they would be called metalsmiths?

That's my understanding too Steve, though I guess that some would argue about the amount and type of training/education/apprencticeship required for each.

Goldsmith
07-07-2015, 08:45 AM
To follow of to what Steve said, in my days of apprenticeships each skill of the trade had it's own title. My Goldsmiths Company Indentured apprenticeship and freedom papers call me a goldsmith. I have friends who served their apprenticeships in the same period as me and on their papers, they have terms such as, engraver, smallworker, diamond mounter, diamond setter, polisher, electro plater, silver cutler, watchmaker, silver caster, enameller, engine turner, silversmith and goldsmith.

In the jewellery trade, there were modelmakers who carved the wax models, casters who cast the waxes into items, mounters who made unique un cast pieces and also cut the holes for the stones, setters who set the stones then polishers and electroplaters who finished the piece.

Sorry to waffle on, but I was luck enough to have worked in a period when there were a lot of trade companies making gold an silver stuff. Sadly there are not many opportunities these days for youngsters to become apprentices.

James

SteveLAO
07-07-2015, 09:32 AM
pearlescence - if it goes for melt then there is no issue, as clearly you would not be able to resell the article!
aurarius - we would be looking to remove the hallmark on your thin eternity ring because you would be looking to alter, amend or add to the piece I guess? In which case I would imagine if the shank was so thin you would be looking to re shank, in which case you wouldn't have an issue with us crossing out, but I do take your point and on delicate items we would use a scorper and manually obliterate each shield. Originally this was done in all circumstances, but many people thought that we were also obliterating the provenance, so we started putting crosses through the marks to show that although they should be ignored, you can still see the history behind the original piece.
Wallace - yes you're absolutely correct. This is "the written consent of an assay office" piece. If you wanted to add to an already hallmarked item (like the spoon/ring conversions) then you can send it in to us and we will issue you with a change of use certificate after re-examining the item. Then you can sell it legally.
7886 here is an image of a crossed out hallmark, along with our reference number. The reference number links to our file about the article which lists the reasons why the action was taken.
Goldsmith - yes you're right, and going back into history even "silversmiths" were sub divided into the items that they made. For example, you could be called a "spoonmaker"!

Patstone
07-07-2015, 03:20 PM
James, you have clarified a lot in your statement. Can you help me please as I noticed you are online now and I need help NOW. A lady has collected some sea glass when she was on honeymoon, so it has special connotations for her. She wanted two pieces made into a ring on an inside out "D" wire which i have done to an extent..... the bigger one set ok, but the little one was a bit scewiff (crooked) so I attempted to adjust it slightly and it came off the ring shank. As its glass does it have to come out of the bezel or will it withstand the heat of soldering it is only about four cm wide
Cant get the photo to load I dont know why but I often have problems loading photos from my phone to Cookies site.

Goldsmith
07-07-2015, 03:33 PM
James, you have clarified a lot in your statement. Can you help me please as I noticed you are online now and I need help NOW. A lady has collected some sea glass when she was on honeymoon, so it has special connotations for her. She wanted two pieces made into a ring on an inside out "D" wire which i have done to an extent..... the bigger one set ok, but the little one was a bit scewiff (crooked) so I attempted to adjust it slightly and it came off the ring shank. As its glass does it have to come out of the bezel or will it withstand the heat of soldering it is only about four cm wide
Cant get the photo to load I dont know why but I often have problems loading photos from my phone to Cookies site.

If it has sentimental value I wouldn't risk heating it unless you are using a very low melting point solder and can keep the the torch flame away from the glass. If you do solder it with extra easy solder, let it cool slowly on the solder pad in case you shatter the glass by cooling it too quickly.

Patstone
07-07-2015, 04:30 PM
Thanks James, thats what I thought. I will take it out of the bezel tomorrow and re-do it, safer option. Thanks once again for your help.

Patstone
07-07-2015, 05:59 PM
So what happens if someone bought for instance a spoon and then took the hallmark off by filing or some other method and make a ring out of it. Does it count as a new item, or does it have to be written off your records first.

SteveLAO
08-07-2015, 10:29 AM
It's not a question of writing it off the records...once a hallmark is on an item, you are not allowed to touch the hallmark or do anything to the item without the prior approval of the assay office. So if someone bought a spoon and filed off the hallmark they are committing an offence. Many people are quite flippant about the hallmark without realising the seriousness of what it is and what it stands for. This is an offence that used to be punishable by death remember!

pearlescence
08-07-2015, 11:41 AM
Hi Steve, does that include changing the size of a hallmarked ring????cos if so just about every jeweller in the land is for the chop!

SteveLAO
08-07-2015, 11:56 AM
hahaha! Well you do need to think about the hallmarking regulations and why the mark is on there. So for example let's say you wanted to size a gold ring. As you know the weight limit for hallmarking gold is 1g, so if you're going to be adding more than 1g of gold to the ring, then technically it would need to be checked by an assay office. You can imagine a scenario with an 18ct wedding ring being sized up 10 sizes using 9ct gold. The hallmark on it indicates that the entire item is made of at least 18ct, but it's clearly not and so the poor customer is not buying what he thinks he is!
I think in practice this again doesn't happen as often as it should do..and from personal experience I've seen rings that have been completely re-shanked and have not been re hallmarked. The jeweller then gets round the law by not describing the ring as being made of gold, and listing the repair as "re-shank to diamond ring".

pearlescence
08-07-2015, 12:10 PM
How much does it cost to have the old mark struck out? and can you give any idea of how many items do go back prior to work
(and on a personal note...I sometimes make rings etc with mostly silver, with a bit of scrap gold fused onto the surface. now that scrap comes from any old bits of gold, and sometimes I'll get a scrap ring or chain for the gold to use, all cut up in to bits not much bigger than pallions of solder. Am I heinous? when the finished ring doesn't need any mark but I often send them in anyway...

SteveLAO
08-07-2015, 12:23 PM
Pearlescence...I doubt whether you'll end up in the tower for what you're doing.....
It's really a common sense thing so that the unsuspecting public, who rely on the hallmark as their independent guarantee, are in fact getting what they're paying for. The assay offices need to ensure that this is always the case, and that there is no fraudulent use of the marks.
Regarding the charge for just examining an item and obliterating the mark...well that's a FREE service!!

pearlescence
08-07-2015, 12:52 PM
Phew <relief>
and free...phew!

Unhindered
05-02-2016, 12:39 PM
Wow I actually had no idea about the hallmark removal thing [emoji85] I've done loads of meltdowns before! Oops.


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china
08-02-2016, 04:45 AM
In this day and age hallmarking is not reliable,the amount of counterfeit hallmarking going on in China is ridiculous and no body is doing anything about it

Dennis
08-02-2016, 07:29 AM
That doesn't alter the fact that it's UK law. Also a known sponsors mark combined with a hallmark, on goods sold by an established seller, are reliable enough. Dennis.

swageblock
14-02-2016, 06:02 PM
To return to the Gold/Silversmith conversation,I too was told that a Goldsmith mainly makes jewellery and a Silversmith mainly makes larger items such as boxes,chalices etc.
Ialso learned [many moons ago ]from a Life Insurance broker that they regard Jewellers as retail and therefore higher risk due to hold ups etc than Gold or Silversmiths whom are workshop based and lower risk/lower premiums.

Goldsmith
15-02-2016, 08:45 AM
To return to the Gold/Silversmith conversation,I too was told that a Goldsmith mainly makes jewellery and a Silversmith mainly makes larger items such as boxes,chalices etc.
Ialso learned [many moons ago ]from a Life Insurance broker that they regard Jewellers as retail and therefore higher risk due to hold ups etc than Gold or Silversmiths whom are workshop based and lower risk/lower premiums.

Good morning Swageblock I see you are located in St.Just, an area that we have been visiting for years on our annual holidays, I see you have had some wild waves on the coast recently.
I did try to explain the trade names as used by goldsmiths and silversmiths earlier in this posting. As for the wording, these days it seems you can call yourself whatever you wish, I served a 6 year apprenticeship to become a goldsmith. As for insurance you are correct in what you say that insurers regard jewellers as retail which are open to the public rather than smith's workshops which were mostly in private locations. Times have changed though as nowadays some jewellery shops like to show that they have workshops on the premises.

James

FailedAssay
02-09-2016, 11:37 AM
I think we should bring back spoonmakers! Wasn't so long ago in Sheffield you still found outworkers who specialised in just doing spoons, fork tines, knife blades or cutlery handles.