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Thread: Hallmarking in the UK as a foreigner?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Halmstad, Sweden, Sweden
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    55

    Default Hallmarking in the UK as a foreigner?

    Hello everyone!

    I have a few questions about hallmarking, namely concerning if I can register and send my work to the UK for marking, and with a CCM stamp as well (at least for gold if I ever do that).

    1) Would I as a foreigner (Sweden) be able to register for a makers mark at an assay office in the UK?
    2) Assuming I can, would the assay office be able to mark it and return it to me (in Sweden), I can send it to the office, but I believe I will have a hard time enclosing a pre-stamped envelope for return.
    3) Are there any spot lab costs or such things to be aware of (like extra costs if they decide they have to check your items more thoroughly or applying for a CCM stamp)?

    I guess you ask: Why don't you register with a Swedish assay office?
    Answer: I asked them, and their disheartening response was that in order to export (mark it with the CCM stamp) I need to register for a Swedish makers mark and they need to make a destructive test of everything I send in (so basically I need to make one item extra for every kind of item I want to stamp (and I don't plan on making mass-produced items)), and that every such destructive test would cost a lot of money.

    As a hobbyist it wouldn't be worth it to send it in for hallmarking with a CCM stamp, I could hallmark it in Sweden anyway but then I wouldn't be able to sell anything in the UK if it was heavier than 7.78g.
    Also, it would be nice to have a makers mark, and the UK one is cheap.
    That, and the UK services are a lot better!

    Oh, I know I am new at this and it might be a bit early to consider hallmarks when I have not even made a silver item yet, but I like to be prepared.

    /Andreas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Vale of Evesham
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    Default

    When you say destructive, how destructive do you mean? in the UK all items sent for hallmarking are tested for purity level before being marked, some of the peeps on here have had a badtime with some of the offices basically ruining work when testing it
    Tasha
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Halmstad, Sweden, Sweden
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    Default

    She told me it would be destroyed, so very destructive... I have no idea what they do to it, perhaps dissolve it in acid or something...
    At least that is what she told me.

    And they would also charge me with about 40 per test they had to make... Also it was one test per design (well, per part of the design as well if it contains several compounds I think)
    Kind of kills the sales if you need to charge 40 + time and materials for another item extra if you want to sell it outside of Sweden (and only in the CCM part as well).

    Especially since silver don't need to be hallmarked at all in Sweden (so that is a tip for those wanting to sell things here )
    Though with all the fake things from Asia it would be very nice to have one.

    /Andreas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Romsey
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    Default

    The 2 methods that I know of over here are X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (non-destructive testing) and "traditional" assay with acids - but even that doesn't result in the complete destruction of the piece, it's just a scraping.

  5. #5
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    Central London
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    Our member SteveLAO(London Assay Office) should be answering this question, but he might still be recovering from some long days at International Jewellery London, Earls Court. As far as I know' you will be treated in the same way as a British resident and the London assay office is very friendly and not at all destructive. If you use our search box top right, you can also find out about laser marking.

    Why don't you contact them direct and ask for an information pack? Dennis.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Halmstad, Sweden, Sweden
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    Default

    I also thought they would just scrape it, but they claimed that the object would be damaged beyond repair, so no idea what they would do to it.
    You have a lot of nice toys in your assay offices, and it sure would be nice with laser etching.

    By the way, do you still need to get a punch if you want laser etching on all your items?

    Will contact the office directly and ask them.

    /Andreas

  7. #7
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    Quote: By the way, do you still need to get a punch if you want laser etching on all your items?

    No and what is more you can specify the size of the mark for each piece. Dennis.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The Netherlands
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    The assay office here in NL always ask for testing material of all the components of the items to be stamped, so rather than testing the actual item they use the test pieces. For me it leaves the system open to abuse by those less reputable, but at least the item is returned in the same state it entered the building, (provided I opt for laser stamping).

    Les
    Poor old Les

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    Finland
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    Was it this place? http://www.inspecta.com/sv/
    Maybe they were thinking you wanted some precious metal scrapped & not scraped.

    Apparently they do laser marking also... Nice to have a UK stamp, but I don`t think the logistics of sending stuff back & forth is worth your while.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    London
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    hello everyone! Back from a very hectic IJL!

    With regard to the original thread concerning the testing of items.....we generally use non destructive methods such as xrays to test the metal before marking. However, as this is only a surface testing methods there are occasions where we will remove a small sample for full laboratory analysis. The word "destructive" does sound very dramatic but actually it is only a tiny sample and you can barely see where it's come from!

    With regard to having a sponsor's punch if you're only going to be using laser marks....there are a number of schools of thought on this but here at London we stick absolutely to the letter of the act, which mentions that you need to have a punch in order to "strike" your mark...and as you can't "strike" a laser mark, we do insist that you have a punch made. To be honest, I'm not sure what the other offices do, but that's our view on it.

    Ans with regard to "foreigners" registering with a UK office, yes there is absolutely no problem with that, and we have clients from all over the world who are registered here. We are able to return your items to you, but it would be up to you to arrange the logistics...for example if you wanted it returned by courier. In addition you would be liable for any customs or duty payments that may be chargeable.

    no problem to apply the CCM for you in addition to the UK mark, and with regard to prices, its probably best to go to our website - www.assayofficelondon.co.uk and click on the "useful downloads" tab, and download the price list from there. It gives you all the charges you need on there.

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