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Thread: London Assay Office issues

  1. #11
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    Mar 2020
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    14

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    Quote Originally Posted by CJ57 View Post
    Did you clearly mark where you wanted everything marked and in what way and did you supply the the instruction sheet for additional info ?
    If you did all that then I would be upset.
    Are you saying the hallmarking cost that much or is that the cost of making the pieces?
    Thank you for the reply.

    I rang up multiple times for guidance and yes I did as best I could with information I was given at their end.. £250 for was registration and 8 pieces. I’m far from wealthy but I ran a costume jewellery business for 10 years, had my work featured in the multiple places including Sunday Times, exhibited at big shows etc. I know my way around both business and customer service and that way the assay office (barring a very helpful woman on their initial helpline) I have never known anything like it. Who cc’s customers into emails which include the line: ‘well you can complain about me now’ whilst addressing the initial email to a superior? All very odd.

    The way they seem to explained it to me is that sending work is a gamble and you should be grateful for any work sent back even if it’s bashed to bits.

    I advise anyone who is new to hallmarking avoid this company. I’ve asked for a refund now and would like to clarify at no point have they offered to rectify any of this including offer a apology for a phone call that left me in tears. Very disappointing. I’ll investigate Birmingham also, but think I’ll go with Edinburgh.
    Last edited by Misskitty; 18-03-2020 at 09:09 AM.

  2. #12
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    Dec 2009
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    Central London
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    The jewellery trade is poorly served by many of its suppliers and contractors, although there has been some improvement in recent years. I was amazed when I first took this up as a hobby, having been treated with respect in my previous incarnation.
    The London assay office were all smiles when I applied to join and talked to them at fairs. But at the counter off Hatton Garden and also at Goldsmiths Hall you are treated as if you were an inmate of HM prisons.
    As I only make for relatives and friends, I rarely bother with hallmarking now. Dennis.

  3. #13
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    Feb 2011
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    Scotland
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    Edinburgh it is then. Itíll be £72 for registration and at least you have your punch

    That is pretty much what Edinburgh was like in the 70s. The men in overalls at the hatch were like something from Harry Potter. They were rude and unhelpful and at that point lack of technology meant that they took a scrape of silver the bigger and deeper the better. We rarely sent our work any further on than soldered together without even the edges filed down so at least you hoped thatís where it was taken from. The punch mark would also have distorted the piece anyway.
    Oh and we only had one male in the jewellery dept at ECA, the assay trolls found it difficult to be nice to us mere girls. Now you can send everything in finished, it took me a very long time to get used to on my return to making. I still get nervous if I have to phone them and if they call me to confirm something before marking my heart races when I see the number. There is no reason for it other then years of early experience
    Last edited by CJ57; 18-03-2020 at 11:18 AM.

  4. #14
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    One thing I don't have to be concerned with, however suppliers is another whole kettle of fish, seems to be getting more difficult by the day to be treated well if you are not business

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Thanks for posting the information, it is a little worrying. I registered with London and was getting a pack ready to send for hallmarking. I didn’t realise they had such a bad name. I can’t afford to have work damaged so looks like I will also be paying a second registration fee to transfer to Edinburgh.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    I have found the London Assay office helpful, including the counter staff, and the service efficient. I went with laser marking and had no problem with placement or anything, although I suspect the marks will not stand up to much polishing.

    I did, however, find I paid through the nose for the first 20 odd pieces I submitted: I had to split them into several packages as I had no online access and had to do manual hallnotes. They charge per package and per pack within. I do think they could make their charging structure clearer - can't afford the sort of mark up on pieces that I ended up with.

  7. #17
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    Feb 2011
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    Edinburgh does have a min fee per packet so it’s good to put a lot in to make it worthwhile. The payment structure then goes up in multiples after the minimum and remember that earrings count as 2 pieces. I always do a paper hallnote, then I can check and recheck and it gets delivered with the packet.
    I think their laser marking was more expensive as there was a £20 set up fee which I don’t think London charge, then it’s 20p per mark if I remember. The backs of my pieces are always laser ready as it’ll not take polishing unless you’ve asked for a deeper mark and even then it should be a really light touch with a very soft wool mop.
    I’ve had to pull out of our OS event in May and hopefully the organisers will have seen sense to cancel it completely so I’ll not be sending my work for now.
    I did get an email from them saying they are for now business as usual but in close contact with the other offices to cover for them if it becomes necessary. Don’t expect everything to go smoothly in that case and there was no mention of new registrations in their letter so it might be worth checking if they are taking them just now. They are only taking postal and courier deliveries and not counter

  8. #18
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    South Australia
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    LASER making is is a bit of a mystery as unless it is a really deep burn then it will not last very long, I have seen some LASER marked items from the UK and the mark has just about disappeared, I thought it was supposed to be permanent

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
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    Oxfordshire
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    Quote Originally Posted by china View Post
    LASER making is is a bit of a mystery as unless it is a really deep burn
    I would imagine that forging a laser mark would be simple if you had a laser engraver. I'd be surprised if some enterprising soul hasn't done this.

  10. #20
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    Dec 2014
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    Forgeries are every where, this is one reason why Hall marking is loosing relevance, there is no way to police it

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