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Thread: Silver content and Hallmarking

  1. #1
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    Default Silver content and Hallmarking

    Question for Steve really, I had a stall at a craft fair last weekend and a lady came up and challenged me regarding hallmarking. Several small items, i.e like stud earrings we make as a "small gift" so are made out of thin silver, normally 0.6 (up to 1mm) so the silver content is a lot lower than the 7.78 grams, on the odd occasion we add copper to the design to make it look a bit bigger. If the silver content is under 7.78g and the copper makes it over, or a stone I suppose, does it need hallmarking. My understanding was that the silver content had to be over the 7.78g to need hallmarking. If I am wrong I suppose its the Tower for me again.

  2. #2
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    Oh patstone.....we've only just released you from the tower for good behaviour after the last time!! It is the total weight of the metal (don't worry about stones...unless they are meteorites which are metal!!!) which makes the article liable for hallmarking. If you have an item made from silver and copper and the whole thing weighs over the 7.78g limit then it will need to be hallmarked if you want to describe it as silver and copper.
    Would you like your usual cell at the top of the tower, or would you like to try one with a different view?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLAO View Post
    (don't worry about stones...unless they are meteorites which are metal!!!)
    Haematite?

    Would you like your usual cell at the top of the tower, or would you like to try one with a different view?
    Great-great grandfather's quarters'd be nice

  4. #4
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    meteorite is iron and/or nickel based and are classed as so-called metallic metal....we came across this in the past and it was taken into consideration during assay.
    Haematite is an iron oxide and so does not count for the purposes of assaying....in the same way as ruby and sapphire (aluminum oxides)...so called non metallic metals
    Last edited by SteveLAO; 19-08-2015 at 09:19 AM.

  5. #5
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    So if you had a tiny piece of silver on a copper ring for instance, it would have to be hallmarked because it would be over the weight. This would push the cost of our stuff up by about 15 as the postage up and back is over 12 then the hallmarking on top. That's ridiculous, it should be just the silver that's regulated, copper etc isn't a precious metal. A lot of our stuff we purposely keep under the 7.78g so it doesn't have to be hallmarked as postage is so expensive and as we aren't really doing it as a business, its a hobby really, we go to a couple of local craft fairs to sell enough to buy more silver, it would put making silver jewellery out of our reach.

  6. #6
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    Patstone..I seem to remember we've been down this road before. If you mix precious metals or precious and non precious it's always the total weight of the entire piece that is used in determining whether or not the article should be marked. It's kind of common sense really as if your example of a copper bangle with some silver on it is presented to us, there is no way we could possibly calculate the individual weights of the separate metals. Only the manufacturer would ever know, and as everything we do needs to be totally independent of the trade we wouldn't be able to work on the basis of third party details provided to us.
    Whether or not you feel its ridiculous I'm afraid it's the law. Maybe you could use a non precious white coloured metal for your copper items then it would not need to be marked? I hate turning away business, but on the other hand I can understand your dilemma.

  7. #7
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    Cost of hallmarking would be a valid deduction in your income tax return though in your accounts
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide
    www.pearlsapractical.guide
    www.Pearlescence.co.uk

  8. #8
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    pearlescence...really?? Please let me have all the details!!!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLAO View Post
    It is the total weight of the metal (don't worry about stones...unless they are meteorites which are metal!!!) which makes the article liable for hallmarking. If you have an item made from silver and copper and the whole thing weighs over the 7.78g limit then it will need to be hallmarked if you want to describe it as silver and copper.
    This makes sense. What doesn't make perfect sense (assuming I've interpreted it correctly) is what you said in a previous thread in response to a query.

    This was the query:
    "If an item in silver, more than 1g and less than 7.78g, has a tiny dot of fine gold as an accent (or a bit of gold leaf/foil, as with keum-boo), does the item: a) not require a hallmark; b) only require a hallmark if 'gold' is included in any sales description; c) require a hallmark in any case?"

    This was your answer:
    "Mixed metal marking can be a bit of a nightmare it's true! In your example, the tiny dot of gold will weigh less than 1g and so there is no requirement to hallmark the item, which is in silver and weighs less that the 7.78g. Mixed metal marking does not apply to gold leaf or gold plating."

    Assuming the dot of gold referred to here is not leaf or plating but an actual piece of gold, and assuming that, though the gold piece is plainly below 1g, the whole item including the silver exceeds the 1g threshold for gold though falls below the 7.78g threshold for silver, why is there no requirement to hallmark the item? You've made it plain that "It is the total weight of the metal...which makes the article liable for hallmarking" and, in the present example with gold in, the weight of the whole piece exceeds the 1g threshold for gold, so why is there no requirement for hallmarking?

  10. #10
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    Aurarius, this was the conflicting information I questioned last time, but I didn't ever get any clarification, so I gave up.

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