Why do we hallmark the silver?
Some of the silver jewellery we sell is legally required to be hallmarked, so we have decided to have the majority of the silver items we make hallmarked. This means that you have independant verification that you are buying Sterling Silver.
What is sterling silver?
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals (usually copper). Fine silver (99.9% pure) is generally too soft for producing durable jewellery. Sterling Silver is ideal for making jewellery as it is usually alloyed with copper to give strength whilst preserving the malleability of the silver, a high precious metal content and producing a beautiful and lustrous metal. With proper care, your silver will retain its beauty and character for many years, even generations to come. Sterling silver is marked as (and sometimes called) '925', representing the parts of silver per 1000 parts of the item - 925 parts silver, 75 parts other metals.
Can I see the hallmark?
The hallmarks are small - they need to fit on the item without damaging it or spoiling the look. You will be able to see where it is, about 5mm long, but to check the detail you will need a magnifier. This is a photograph of the hallmark -
From left to right: Sponsor's mark - SW (Me, the maker), Fineness Mark (925-Sterling Silver), Traditional Fineness Symbol (Sterling Silver Scotland), Assay Office Mark (Edinburgh), Date Letter (O is 2013).
Note: It will be clear in the item detailed description if an item containing silver is NOT hallmarked.
Statutory 'Dealers' Notice' and further information
Please select the links to see:
Dealers' Notice - general information about hallmarking.
The Edinburgh Assay Office site. This is where my maker's mark is registered and where I submit my jewellery for testing to confirm the silver content and have the hallmark applied.