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Thread: Rant about hallmarks!

  1. #1
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    Angry Rant about hallmarks!

    whilst browsing ebay for silver padlocks, I came across someone selling those tiffany spring ones who claimed they were guaranteed silver as they had a 925 hallmark. I asked them if they meant if they meant a 925 stamp or if they were actually hallmarked. They said they were stamped 925 but they could hallmark it for an extra cost. I then suggested that they were misleading the public because a hallmark is struck at an assay office. They then countered by saying it wasn't misleading and it was a hallmark. It makes me fume the way some sellers continue to conflate hallmarks and 925 stamps. I would have thought that a large seller of findings in Birmingham should be so offing ignorant! [/rant]

  2. #2
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    Grrrrrrrrrr......makes me cross!! Maybe a visit from their local friendly neighborhood assay office might be in order? Have you been in touch?

  3. #3
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    with BAO? no. I did reply saying that they should know the difference between a 925 stamp and a hallmark and that not only are they misleading by claiming a 925 stamp is a hallmark but by conflating the two they are diminishing the importance of hallmarks. I suggested they contact BAO for clarification. I think I'm possibly being a bit OTT but it cheeses me off no end.

  4. #4
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    not OTT at all. Thank you for waving the flag

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by medusa View Post
    whilst browsing ebay for silver padlocks, I came across someone selling those tiffany spring ones who claimed they were guaranteed silver as they had a 925 hallmark. I asked them if they meant if they meant a 925 stamp or if they were actually hallmarked. They said they were stamped 925 but they could hallmark it for an extra cost. I then suggested that they were misleading the public because a hallmark is struck at an assay office. They then countered by saying it wasn't misleading and it was a hallmark. It makes me fume the way some sellers continue to conflate hallmarks and 925 stamps. I would have thought that a large seller of findings in Birmingham should be so offing ignorant! [/rant]
    Could someone briefly clarify the point of law here, please? I don't know the weight of the item in question, but my understanding was that if you are selling an item of silver that is below the 7.78g limit, you can stamp 925 on it yourself as an indication of purity, but this does not constitute any official endorsement of standard and certainly not the endorsement of a hallmark, which only an Assay Office is licensed to issue. The absence of the hallmark, however, on an item under 7.78g need not legally prevent a seller from claiming the item is sterling silver, though whether the buyer believes it or not is up to the buyer.

    In this case, clearly if the item the Ebay seller is selling is over the weight limit, then he has already committed an offence in offering it for sale whilst not having had it hallmarked. But is he also committing an offence if the item is under the weight limit and the seller claims, as here, (whether out of ignorance or intention to deceive) that a 925 stamp is a hallmark, or subsequently claims that whilst a 925 mark is not the same as a hallmark he can hallmark it himself if you want him to?

    Since a silver item does not need to be hallmarked if it is below 7.78g, and no item can ever be self-hallmarked, if the seller does stamp the item himself with an anchor, say, in addition to the 925 mark, would the offence be as grave if the item was underweight as it would be if the item exceeded the weight for obligatory hallmarking? And if the seller merely claims he can hallmark an item below 7.78g himself without actually going ahead and doing it or selling it to you, is that too an offence? I'm assuming the item is actually sterling silver in the first place.
    Last edited by Aurarius; 20-02-2014 at 06:13 PM.

  6. #6
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    People confuse hallmark with branding all the time. I'm pedantic about correcting the error on international forums as it irritates me massively.
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

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    Quote Originally Posted by pearlescence View Post
    People confuse hallmark with branding all the time. I'm pedantic about correcting the error on international forums as it irritates me massively.
    heh, I'm glad I'm not the only one! I was starting to think I was being unreasonable.

  8. #8
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    No, you're not being unresonable atall. They have definatly commited an offense by claiming the 925 stamp is a hallmark, regardless of the items weight. I would report to trading standards x
    Sian Williamson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keia View Post
    They have definatly commited an offense by claiming the 925 stamp is a hallmark, regardless of the items weight.
    What offence exactly though? That was more or less the whole point of my post. Telling a potential buyer a 925 stamp is a hallmark is not the same thing as selling an unhallmarked item that is over the weight limit or counterfeiting a hallmark and striking it yourself on an item.

  10. #10
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    Telling a potential buyer that a 925 stamp is a hallmark is a misrepresentation. Steve will no doubt give the definitive answer, but the 925 stamp has no legal status in the UK.

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