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Thread: Hallmarking - help from those who have them

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Cardiff
    Posts
    988

    Default Hallmarking - help from those who have them

    I really need to sort out getting my hallmark - main problem is (I'm currently supporting my whole family as my husband is ill and every penny seems needed for basics and not going back into the jewellery!)

    Can I ask, how long the process takes from application to mark being made?

    If I can only afford one punch at mo - which should I go for?

    How long turnaround is on items once they are sent for hallmarking (roughly)

    Anyone get laser marks done instead?

    How finished are your items when you send them?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    313

    Default

    Load of questions!

    Seems to take a fairly random period to register. You've not given away much personal info so I can't guess which assay office you might go for... ah, Google says you're in Cardiff (a city I love), so there's not an obvious choice. Rumour has it that Edinburgh are quickest to register but London have a reputation for quick turn-around. Expect anything up to 3 months for registration and between 1 and 15 days turnaround on marking, depending exactly where you send them. I find Goldsmiths very helpful on the telephone and I hear similar reports of the other offices - give them a call and explain your situation, whatever that is. A very good reason to choose an office, in my view, is the mark they put on for themselves - I rather like Goldsmiths' panther! It is art after all!

    Most if not all of the offices offer laser marking but I don't use it I admit - the punch mark is a selling point, especially for export.

    Finishing is a very personal choice, a lot depends on what quality of finish you are aiming for. Even the slight marking from the assay office bugs me so I re-finish, also to get a smooth edge to the hallmark. I think the stuff on your website has the sort of feel that might be fine to hallmark as the final step.

    Er... what else... Oh I got them to make a 0.5mm swan neck punch, even though I've only put one ring through! This seems to be the cheapest all-purpose punch. I see you have a lot of rings on your website so I guess that's where you need to go.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Cardiff
    Posts
    988

    Default

    Thanks Joe,
    Yes, sorry, I forget that half the things I should say are still in my head! Cardiff is my hometown - came back after living and working in London for 10 years and love it.
    Oh like the idea of a panther. Grrr!
    Yep, I'm a bit rough and ready jewellery-wise. (not literally rough, I've got a bit of a fetish for things feeling nice*) I'm finally getting comfortable with what I enjoy, and trying to embrace my thumb-fingered approach - I just can't get my dad to understand I'll never be a dainty jewellery maker (not surprising for a life-long tomboy really). I suppose it's one of those things where I just need to do it to find the definitive answer!

    *is now concerned sounds slightly dodgy. Sorry.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    313

    Default

    I do love your stuff! There are only a few makers on the forum that I would consider wearing and you are definitely in my zone! Jewellery often targets the "unreal"... but your stuff crosses that boundary. But then I'm also a manga fan so I clearly lack discernment!

    I'm not sure if you're on the Lars&Ingrid forum, but they have scored a coup in getting an assay officer officially on their forum for advice - Sheffield I think.

    I adore Cardiff. I'm sure a pro forum isn't the place to say why, but I can at least say that the arts are truly valued and supported there. If I wasn't living in Norwich, Cardiff would be my second choice of home-town (though I did love Bath when I lived there, apart from all the snooty people).

    To target your question though - I think you'd be content with how all of the offices treat your work and you can send completely finished items. You might have some sympathy for the anchor mark of Birmingham, given Cardiff's historic sea connections... but a panther is much cooler! Victoria is the contact at London and she is terribly helpful.

    I've no problem with jewellery being tactile - though "fetish" is a word with limited marketing opportunities.

    Cookson's don't let me exhibit my work on their forum - "fetish" doesn't even come close!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,902

    Default

    Hi Lydia,
    I am registered with the London Assay Office and they usually provide an excellent service.I have three punches with heights of 1mm.,2mm. and 2.5mm. The smallest punch is a swan kneck ring punch, which was sold as a 1mm. punch, but is closer to 0.90mm at it's narrowest, but please remember that this punch has a slight curve to it which suits the arc of a ring shank, my other punches are flat. London also provides a lazer marking sevice and they charge a fee for registering and preparing the program that has your mark on it. I still prefer the punch marking service and only use the lazer marking when getting finished delecate enamelled items marked.
    James

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