You'll find the CRZyBest Hallmark in some unique places!
What is a Hallmark and what is its purpose?
A set of component marks applied to articles of the precious metal’s gold, silver, platinum or palladium: For my blog I shall focus on silver, as that is the precious metal, I specialise in creating things with
Means that the article has been independently tested: CRZyBest creations are tested at The Goldsmith’s Company Assay Office in London, England, where they have been testing precious metals for over 700 years!
Guarantees that it conforms to all legal standards of purity (fineness): This mark is applied as standard at the London Assay office and is in the shape of a Lion
Guarantees provenance by informing people where the piece was hallmarked, what the article is made from, and who sent the article for hallmarking: For my CRZyBest creations this is London, the article is made from a minimum of 925 parts Silver and I sent it for hallmarking
Usually a hallmark formation is horizontal, which means the marks are all in a row, with the marks close together. As shown in this photograph of the hallmark on my tiny doggo bangle.
It is possible to get bespoke hallmarking with the marks laid out differently.
The Full Traditional Hallmark consists of five marks:
Sponsor's mark: Mine is CRZ within my chosen shield shape, which is a rectangle with rounded corners.
Traditional fineness mark: A walking Lion is used for English silver
Millesimal fineness mark: This is how many parts in a 1000 are actually the precious metal, so 925 for sterling silver. Creations are marked to the lowest standard, so as to guarantee the quality.
Assay Office mark: My creations are hallmarked in London, so have a Leopards Head from The Goldsmiths Company Assay Office
Date letter mark: A new letter in a different shape is created for every year and destroyed at the end of the year. For 2021 it is a ‘W’ in a box with it’s corners chopped off.
I create all my tiny silver sculptures using something called 950 silver clay. In its soft, modelling clay form it is made up of silver particles and an organic binder. Once I have fired it in my pink kiln, it becomes, 95% silver which means that it can hallmarked as sterling silver* as it contains at least 92.5% pure silver.
In the UK it is illegal to sell or describe any item weighing over 7.78 grams as Silver unless it is hallmarked. My smallest creations, such as earrings and tiny rings are not always hallmarked, as they weigh under 7.78 grams and including a hallmark would mean a price increase and also a longer turnaround time when I am making bespoke orders. Would you be happy to pay more for a hallmark to be put on smaller pieces, now that you know what they stand for?
Please check out my blog all about precious metal clay for more information on the materials that I use.
*Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of other metals, usually copper. Silver jewellery marked with a 925 is sterling silver jewellery that has been certified to contain a minimum of 92.5% silver content or 925 parts in a 1000.