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  • Hallmarks sign

    Hi, i'm going to be doing my first craft fair in a months time...quite daunting! Can anyone explain to me about the hallmarks sign i've seen on stalls...i'll be selling silver jewellery but none of it will be hallmarked as none of my pieces weigh more than 7.78g. Thanks if you're able to help...any more advice about doing the craft fair would be great too!

  • #2
    You can either buy a chart like this:

    or you can just print out one from somewhere like here:

    It's one of the things trading standards officers love jumping on!

    just had a little amble round your site btw - some lovely stuff there


    • #3
      Nice site, nice jewellery.
      The poster you have seen is a boring but legal requirement, it must be clearly visable anywhere where hallmarked jewellery is sold. I don't know where you stand with your work being unhallmarked though, whether you have to display it or not.
      I did a craft fair 2 years ago with all my silver jewellery. I decided to keep it simple as it was my first (and only) time. I priced everything at £25. I sold one piece all day... gutted! Everyone admired my work, it got alot of attention, lots of people tried on and gushed etc. I used to work in a jewellers successfully selling 10k rings so I know it wasn't my sales patter that put them off! No-one would put their hand in their pocket. I kicked myself for not taking some of my cheaper, smaller pieces. In discussion with a few other stall holders afterwards it was concluded that people had come to spend about a tenner. The moral of the story ...take work of varying price points.

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      • #4
        I'm told by various sources that the only legal hallmark sign is the sign that the Assay Office sell themselves. Last time I bought one it was around £10. Assay Office in Edinburgh Tel: 0131 556 1144, ask for Charles and he'll keep you straight and legal. (he's a really nice and helpful guy)

        It doen't matter if your work is under or above the assay min. weight, you must display the sign if you use the term Sterling Silver.



        • #5
          I forgot to say that one year when I was attending the Burnt Island Highland Games with the Fife Council. I was in a hurry and had just finished opening my last box when a couple of guys that were looking at my stock asked if it was Sterling Silver and when I said yes they then introduced themselves as Trading Standards and asked where was my board. You had never seen me in such a state! without event replying I went and rushed to my box that had it in and then apologised explaining that I was behind and had not as yet finished setting up. They accepted that but was told to always have my board out on display either before setting up or at first sight of the general public.

          I was later told that another stall had been told to pack up and go home due to not having their board.

          Some Trading Stardard officers are more on the ball than others. It's not the first time that I have educated them in the laws of Sterling Silver jewellery. LOL


          • #6
            The small print - things change so check up on current requirements
            long ago when I was young and beautiful (and a jeweller) you could not claim your jewellery was sterling silver if it did not have a hallmark unless it was under a certain weight .....which I thought was around 2 grams but I could be wrong. numbers are not my strong point ...... when the hall markey people couldn't be bothered with it or the cost made it silly to do.
            So my stuff was small and dainty, under weight and never hallmarked. I never said it was silver. Everyone assumed it was silver. Noone ever asked what it was. I didn't break the law then......
            I work in brass now, problem solved for me. (Except i can't say brass I have to say copper alloy. ) So try to dig out the exact words of the law and read it carefully. Things have changed in that the EU makes us consume forests to make so many notices there's no room on the table for your goods......So some regulations have been tweaked over the years but others have managed to stay very traditional. Any changes are usually just getting you to put in writing things that are best practise or common sense.


            • #7
              If it's over 7.78 grams in silver it needs to be hallmarked

              Below that it's fine to not be marked. The weight is the weight of the silver not including beads or stones. If there is any other metal it must not resemble silver and must be stamped " metal" - but only if the silver weight alone is over the 7.78 grams.

              I should have introduced myself in the intro forum but this is an important point, so I posted here first.

              see www . thegoldsmiths .co .uk/assayoffice/currenthallmarks.htm
              ( not allowed to post links yet, so you'll have to put that together)


              • #8
                I can't help with your specific question, but I do hope your fair goes well for you.
                You will enjoy it and make new friends.

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                • #9
                  Thanks Mark.
                  Something I got grilled about (I was totally innocent and didn't do it mi Lud - it only looked like I might have had) was you mustn't solder precious metals to base metals. I'd made earings from iron and silver. As it turned out the black shiny corndolly type wire thingies were more like beads and threaded into the silver. The point being - not permanently attached.
                  But it gives you the heebie jeebies when officials jump on you. well he made me fight back the tears but I was young and vunerable them. I'm a grumpy old woman now and argue back.


                  • #10
                    Thanks to all of you for keeping me straight! Think i'll give edinburgh assay office a phone and get one from them hopefully. Any more advice about doing my first craft fair would also be much appreciated ......Thanks!Clairex


                    • #11
                      Apart from your assays office sign, legally all crafters are supposed to display their trading name and address. Even if you're trading in your own name. I know many don't, and some people don't even put their name and address on their websites, which is also against the law.

                      However, if you want to 'dot all the i's and cross the t's' , then at least you know.

                      On-line bead supplier and bead lover


                      • #12
                        Hang on - that's not the whole story.
                        Thanks to the lovely people on this forum who showed me the small print:
                        your name and address must be on your website if you ask for money in ADVANCE - before sending out the goods.
                        I don't and I don't.
                        Your name and address should be on your stall* but due to a lot of traders being burgled after this rule was brought in, the National Federation of Market Traders got the govenment to agree that members can just display their membership number. The NFMT have your address and if anyone wants it for a legitamate reason they will give it out.
                        I was going to say I don't and I am but actually you'd be pretty stupid to have a stall and not give out business cards and flyers and those must** have your name and address on them.

                        The small print
                        * I read market stall. I didn't see anything saying craft or charity fair stalls. Must go back and have another look.
                        ** I remember it saying 'paperwork, letterheads etc' I have noticed several people's cards don't have their address on them. It's a bit of a squash to get it on and often it seems pointless if you are trading through your website.



                        • #13
                          The hallmark cards, if yous sell silver or gold.
                          An address where leagal papers can be served on you.
                          a certificate of liabilaty for employies, even if they are not being paid.
                          Public liability insurance certificate.
                          Resonably visable warning signs of any dangerous items, sharp things ect.

                          If your a NMTF member, then the plastic A4 with their name and your membership No. will cover most of this crap!

                          But if your doing Sat or Sun fairs, then the Trading Standards dont offten work these days as its overtime (that varies area to area)


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AnnieAnna View Post
                            Thanks Mark.
                            Something I got grilled about (I was totally innocent and didn't do it mi Lud - it only looked like I might have had) was you mustn't solder precious metals to base metals. I'd made earings from iron and silver.
                            Explain this someone? Why cant you solder precious to base metals?
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                            • #15
                              He did give me a reason but it was 40 years ago and I have forgotten what it was.

                              Mumble, mumble probably a law passed by a mad Medieval King......


                              It was something to do with being able to retrieve the gold.....