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Thread: Hallmarking plated items

  1. #1
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    Question Hallmarking plated items

    Hi guys,

    I'm sure this has been asked before but after a search through the forum I could't find what I was looking for (I did find lots of other useful information though!).

    I purchased some cufflink blanks from a wholesale supplier who described the items as "gold plated". The base material was unspecified but after sanding off some of the plating it appears to be copper or brass.

    My question is, do I actually need to get these items hallmarked? All of the advice I found seemed to be about the describing of plated items (i.e. that that word "gold" must be followed by the word "plated" so as to avoid confusion.).

    If I am making larger numbers of plated items I would probably choose to have them hallmarked anyway if possible to give buyer confidence however at the moment I am making a small number of items so the hallmarking costs would be disproportionate to the overall cost of the goods.

    Thanks in advance for your input!

  2. #2
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    There is no requirement to have plated items hallmarked if the base metal isn't precious, if you were plating silver that would be different

  3. #3
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    Thank you Caroline for your help.

    I suspected that this may be the case however I couldn't find a definite yes or no anywhere!

    Thanks,

    Sam

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    Quote Originally Posted by SICraftDesigns View Post
    If I am making larger numbers of plated items I would probably choose to have them hallmarked anyway if possible to give buyer confidence however at the moment I am making a small number of items so the hallmarking costs would be disproportionate to the overall cost of the goods.
    I'm probably missing something here but Hallmarking a plated copper/brass item would give the false impression that it is a solid precious metal underneath wouldn't it? Wouldn't this create confusion rather than confidence?

  5. #5
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    The assay office won't mark plate anyway, so there's no chance of the customer being confused. I wish we could get someone back on here to answer the assay questions.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SICraftDesigns View Post
    Thank you Caroline for your help.

    I suspected that this may be the case however I couldn't find a definite yes or no anywhere!

    Thanks,

    Sam
    Sorry Sam, my answer seemed a bit curt, it's a dreich freezing days here:/
    When you start making in precious metals I would imagine you'll be sending to Edinburgh Assay Office and they are always really helpful if you have questions

  7. #7
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    I got a super speedy answer from LAO on Facebook last week (The old 'making something for a customer in the states' query).

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    Quote Originally Posted by LydiaNiz View Post
    I got a super speedy answer from LAO on Facebook last week (The old 'making something for a customer in the states' query).
    That's handy to know Lydia, I didn't know they had a Fb page although a lot of people on here don't use it

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by handmadeblanks View Post
    I'm probably missing something here but Hallmarking a plated copper/brass item would give the false impression that it is a solid precious metal underneath wouldn't it? Wouldn't this create confusion rather than confidence?
    That is a fair comment. I was more thinking that, if for arguments sake I advertise as something as 18 carat plated a hallmark stamp may offer assurance to a customer that it has indeed been 18 carat plated and as long as the description was clear then hopefully this wouldn't cause any confusion.

    That being said as CJ57 mentioned they won't hallmark plated items anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by CJ57 View Post
    Sorry Sam, my answer seemed a bit curt, it's a dreich freezing days here:/
    When you start making in precious metals I would imagine you'll be sending to Edinburgh Assay Office and they are always really helpful if you have questions
    No problem at all - I thought your response was informative and answered my question directly so thank you!

    As it happens I'm registered with the Birmingham Assay Office. I can't for the life of me remember why (other than that they had done some nickel testing for me in the past). I did actually speak to them on the phone yesterday relating to this and they were indeed very helpful. That being said they opened a whole new can of worms with regards to nickel, lead and cadmium testing! To be honest it's not something that i had considered until now for cufflinks.

    Quote Originally Posted by LydiaNiz View Post
    I got a super speedy answer from LAO on Facebook last week (The old 'making something for a customer in the states' query).
    Out of curiosity what was your query? Presumably whether the hallmark is required in that instance? The reason I ask is that at present I have all items hallmarked regardless of where they are being shipped but I have had a number of American customers comment on the hallmark (specifically that due to the nature of my designs the hallmark is applied to the outside of the ring).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SICraftDesigns View Post
    I have all items hallmarked regardless of where they are being shipped but I have had a number of American customers comment on the hallmark (specifically that due to the nature of my designs the hallmark is applied to the outside of the ring).
    I don't profess to be an expert on Hallmarking but from what I've read it seems pointless Hallmarking everything regardless of where it is being sent. For example, in the US, 10 carat is the legal minimum fineness for gold, so a UK hallmark is meaningless on a 9ct item. UK hallmarking laws only apply to items being imported to or sold within the UK. If you are exporting then it seems you need to find out what the Hallmarking laws are for the country being exported to...or it may even be the responsibility of the importer.

    There is a lot of info on this site: http://www.gold.org/about-gold/gold-jewellery
    Last edited by handmadeblanks; 31-10-2017 at 11:16 AM.

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