Here at Serendipity Jewellery you can be totally assured I do not sell fake jewellery claiming it to be silver or sterling silver. It is complicated for the buyer to know what should be stamped on an item of handmade sterling silver jewellery.
There are strict rules surrounding selling sterling silver/silver jewellery. Hopefully this page will help explain what you may find on items of jewellery and when.
Assay Offices in the UK
All items being sold as gold, silver, platinum or palladium in the UK must be hallmarked to confirm that they meet the legal standard. This cannot be done by the jeweller. All goods must be submitted to one of several Assay Offices in the UK.
When I make items that weigh more than 7.7g such as a bangle, then I send it to the Assay Office for them to stamp it with the Leopard's head, my personal initials' stamp & the date. This is my Hallmark Stamp.
Different Assay Offices have a different stamp. Birmingham's Assay Office has an anchor. When an Assay Office stamps a piece of jewellery, the information on the stamp contains:
- the town where it was tested
- the date
- the jeweller's initials
- the type of metal
It is a legal requirement that all registrations have at least one physical punch. Serendipity Jewellery is registered with the London Office and my punch carries my unique sponsor mark of the leopard and my initials, set in a shape unique to me. The historic image of the leopard’s head, the town mark for London, and the mark of the Goldsmiths’ Company Assay Office, continues to be internationally recognised as the stamp of approval and guarantee of quality from the renowned home of hallmarking.
The 925 stamp
Often when you look at a piece of sterling silver you will see the 3 numbers - 925 - stamped on it. This is NOT a hallmark. It is used to demonstrate the high quality of the product. This stamp represents the fact that the piece of jewellery you are buying consists of 92.5% genuine silver. The other 7.5% will be alloy to help prevent tarnishing. Thereoretically anyone could buy one of these 925 stamps off the internet and use it.
Real or Fake?
If you are in any doubt whether a jewellery item is sterling silver or silver, just test it with a magnet.
If you find that the jewellery is attracted to the magnet, then it will be clear to you that it is not made of real sterling silver.