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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
December 11, 2018, 06:26:27 pm
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Hallmarking coin silver

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Author Topic: Hallmarking coin silver  (Read 385 times)
woody
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« on: June 25, 2014, 06:54:45 am »

If I were to use 90% coin silver to make a piece, how would I hallmark the piece? If I am correct sterling is 92% and the coin material is 90%, then stamping it 925 would not be correct.  Should I just not stamp it at all? The reason I'm asking is I have a chance to pick up some coin silver at a pretty decent price. I'm not real concerned about it as everything made would be given away as gifts, but I would like it to be marked correctly.
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rocks2dust
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 10:30:14 am »

If you are certain that the alloy is 90% silver, and any solder or other metal you add are also at least 90% silver, you may mark it as either "900 COIN" or "900 COIN SILVER" according to the current FTC guidelines. You may not, however, describe/sell it as simply "silver."
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woody
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2014, 10:39:11 am »

Good info Rocks2dust. I think I'll just buy my stuff from Rio or another source. Don't think it will be worth the headache. Not selling anything but I want to be as honest as I can about what I'm doing. Thanks
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Bentiron
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2014, 01:58:35 pm »

I don't think you even need to stamp it or should stamp it if you are just a home craftsman. I know a lot of smiths that don't read the rules in such a manner and there is debate as to how it should be  hallmarked or if it should be. One instructor said no unless you have a registered, copyrighted, trademark of your own then you could hallmark your jewelry. So I guess if you wanted to use coin silver there is nothing to really stop you as long as you just kept quiet about it, look at how much old Indian jewelry is made from Mexican and Spanish silver coins.
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T P
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2014, 10:13:26 pm »

MY understanding of the regulations is if you stamp the purity, sterling or coin, you also identify yourself as you are guaranteeing the purity level of the silver.

TP
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rocks2dust
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2014, 11:09:10 am »

Yes, it all has to do with what you are representing the metal as when it is sold. If the piece is never sold, then the issue of what qualifies as silver, coin, gold, platinum, etc. never comes up.

If it may eventually be sold, then making a little effort to ensure that the total of the sheet metal + added metal meet the minimums is a good idea. Stamping is just a declaration (and reminder) of what the metal is. The eventual seller is responsible for properly representing the metal content (if s/he says the metal is "silver" or "sterling" then it had better be .925 or better, "coin" must be .900 or better, "fine silver" .999, "gold" is at least 10k/.417, etc.). The concern over getting the metal (and content percentage) stated by a seller rather than debased metal goes back to the beginnings of history. Coins were the first effort to "stamp" metal to assure level of purity and weight, and almost immediately fraudulent coins appeared with lesser content, a battle against counterfeiting that continues to this day. There is a huge amount of stamped, fraudulently represented silver, gold and platinum jewelry in circulation that is actually base metal with thin (or no) plating, so the standards continue to serve a valuable purpose.

Aside from metal content hallmarks, I do also like the idea of a separate maker's mark stamp (your initials or logo) to show who made the piece. You no longer have to register or do anything in order to claim copyright for a uniquely designed maker's mark. A maker's mark isn't necessary, and likely not justifiable if you never produce more than a few pieces (in which case you can usually scratch your mark on the back), but a custom maker's mark stamp is like a sculptor or painter signing their work to make it easier for people to attribute an item to a particular person's work.

I sure wish there were an as easy way to neatly "stamp" stones with the name of the stone and who crafted it.
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tetonartgallery
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2014, 12:01:32 pm »

If  use coin silver add enough 999 fine to bring the purity up to 925
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Thanks for looking - Gerard
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Bentiron
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« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2014, 03:26:56 pm »

http://www.professionaljeweler.com/archives/articles/1999/mar99/0399man3.html
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