Hallmarking puzzles most people. They don’t know what the symbols stand for or why jewellery has to be hallmarked. When our customers ask about hallmarked silver and we tell them that ours is “pure silver , 999 standard” they look puzzled because most people assume that sterling silver is the “ultimate” standard and can’t understand that there are higher grades of silver than sterling. We usually have to take down our hallmarking poster and give a sermon on hallmarking!
Amazingly , hallmarking has been around since early times. Edward 1 of England passed an act in 1300 establishing sterling silver and making marks on each piece of jewellery with a punch compulsory.
So how can you tell if your jewellery is hallmarked? You’ll probably need a magnifying glass like the ones you’ve seen jewellers with , stuck in their eyes as they closely examine a piece of jewellery. If you can only see a mark saying “925” then that’s not a hallmark in the UK buy gold in abu dhabi . It’s just a “control mark” put there by the manufacturers to indicate that they think it’s sterling silver. But to comply with the law there has to be a mark made by the Assay Office. In the UK this will be a mark with 3 symbols : firstly a mark (say 999 ) denoting the type of metal and its quality , secondly the maker’s mark (ours is JC ) and finally the year of marking.
But even if there’s no proper hallmark , don’t worry! Your jewellery could be too light to be hallmarked. Most silver jewellery is very light – earrings , for instance. If silver is less than 7.78 grams it doesn’t have to be hallmarked. Gold less than 1 gram is exempt and with platinum it’s less than half a gram.This is to save costs – hallmarking can be expensive.
So how do jewellers get a hallmark? Well , you buy some silver or gold , make something with it and if the final piece is over 7.78 grams or whatever , you have to send it off to the Assay Office of your choice. In the UK you can choose from London , Birmingham , Sheffield or Edinburgh. They are all independent and actively “tout” for business. We deal with Birmingham but have had reps from other Assay Offices visit us at Trade Shows and try to charm us…
You have to register with an Assay Office and have your own mark and leave your stamp with them. In addition , every time you sell your jewellery , even in a street market , you have to display an Assay Office poster. It’s not unknown for Trading Standards officials to visit exhibitions to check your status and see if you are complying with the act.
The main thing to remember about the hallmark is that the numbers (eg 925 ) are out of a thousand so the higher the number , the better the grade of metal. With sterling silver , this means that 75 parts out of a thousand is not silver – it is copper , which is added to make the pure silver easier to work with by hardening it. Pure silver is quite soft. Most of the silver we work with is 999 – fine pure silver which is quite a different colour to sterling silver because there is nothing added to it.
Marriages in India are synonymous to jewellery. The traditional jewellery of India is what makes the Indian weddings so rich and unique in their own manner. There are exclusive designs and works which complete the traditional look of the jewellery. The traditional gold jewellery is passed on for generations and families hold jewellery made many decades ago. The different jewellery includes armlets, bracelets, bangles, necklaces, earrings, fingerings, toe rings, nose rings, anklets, pendants and waistbands.
Different regions and cultures follow their unique designs and works. The south is known for its extensive temple based large deigns, the north is known for its exclusive carved designs, the west is known for its mirrored and stoned works and the east is famous for its beaded work. Many trends are taken from the Middle East regions but the designing is unique.
Pair of toe rings is a symbol of a married girl. These toe rings are usually made of silver and can even be studded with a stone. There are different styles of nose rings worn by women of different cultures. In the north they were large nose rings, sometimes the nose rings are bigger than the bangles they wear. The larger nose ring denotes the wealth of the husband. In the west nose rings are called nath, they are made of pearls and stones. Necklaces of traditional temple designs or the eminent kolhapuri sajh designs are sought after. North Indians cherish the traditional panchangal, which is a five ring connected gold jewellery for all the fingers in a hand. The waistband also known as kamarband is made out of gold or silver and is studded with precious stones. Earrings come in varied designs and types; there is the traditional long jhukams, which are long and bulky with detailed designing. The anklet is of two types; moveable and immovable. The flexible ones are made by joining rings of the metal, usually silver and the immovable ones are made like bangles with a gap to fit into the leg. The traditional Indian jewellery dates long back and is still famed for its design. These popular works are one of the sought after designs worldwide.
Many of the traditional designs are available only in certain places. Thus buying them online makes more sense. online saves time and gets you the specific design you have longed for. There are different kinds of designing techniques. Some of them are Filigree, Meena and Kundan works. Filigree work involves minute designing; this work is mostly done on silver. Silver is carved into very thin wires and the design is made by molding the wires. Meena work involves filling the metallic design with different colours. This renowned design is famous from the Rajasthan. Kundan work is made out of precious stones and joined by gold or silver. This work is so famed that it is being made by oxidized metals and false stones and is a trendsetter since ages.