Ive received a few emails this week from people asking why I haven't put any of my silver jewellery up for sale on the website yet, so I thought it best to come here and explain why.
One word.........Hallmarking !
After my silversmiths course I decided that if I wanted to be taken seriously (and not to court) about my silver pieces that I would need to register myself a hallmark. By law jewellery that contains over 7.78grams of sterling silver needs to be hallmarked otherwise you can not sell it as sterling silver. I will point out here though that items under 7.78grams can still be hallmarked but its not required.
Now the world of hallmarking does seem to be a minefield. It was easy enough to register and as I had done a part-time course I was eligible for the discounted registration fee, but the pricing structure is like something out of the dark ages and the best cause of a headache.
Basically there is a price per piece but there is also a minimum price that you will pay regardless of size so it is more cost effective to send as many pieces as you can at the same time. Then adding on the registered post there and back, handling charges, excess bagging charges (whats that all about?) and vat it would be extremely expensive to be sending them off a few at a time. I can now understand why jewellers launch "collections" rather than a few bits at a time !.
So I've been stock piling up my work, which I hate to do as I want to get it out into the world, but 20 or so pieces whizzed off to the Assay Office on Wednesday we just have to wait and see how long they take to come back, but they have all been priced up and had there pictures taken, so as soon as they are back with there new marks they will be up on the website.