Frequently asked questions
Hallmarking & The Law
At Gennywren Silver we only work with silver classified as "Sterling Silver". This is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by mass of silver and 7.5% by mass of other metals, usually copper.
We hallmark all of our silver stock items weighing over 7.78g in compliance with current UK legislation. If the silver content of a piece of jewellery is less that 7.78g in weight we will instead, where appropriate be marked with .925 and my maker's mark to show that it is "Sterling Silver". We do so to give you confidence in what you are buying and to add value to your piece of jewellery.
Should you wish to have your item that is below the 7.78g threshold hallmarked with the full UK hallmark, this can be done upon request for an additional fee. Please note that hallmarking may add to manufacturing timescales
Hallmarks consist of three compulsory symbols: 1. The Sponsor’s or Maker’s Mark. This indicates the maker or sponsor of the article. In the UK this mark consists of at least two letters within a shield. No two marks are the same. Our mark consists of an "G" a "W" and an "F" inside an oval. 2. Metal and fineness (purity) mark indicates the precious metal content of the article and that it is not less than the fineness of the article indicated. The fineness is indicated by a millesimal number (parts per thousand) and the metal type is indicated by the shape of the surround. The Sterling Silver symbol is "925" surrounded by an oval. 3. Assay Office Mark indicates the particular Assay Office at which the article was tested and marked. You will see a castle symbol on our hallmarked products which shows the piece was verified and hallmarked at the Edinburgh Assay Office.
Any precious metal item not stamped with these three elements is NOT a Hallmarked piece.
More information on the Hallmarking Act 1973 can be found at the gov.uk website.
Due to the costs involved in hallmarking, we send batches of stock to the Edinburgh Assay Office regularly throughout the year rather than take individual items. Any Sterling Silver pieces over 7.78g in weigh have to be hallmarked by law and the cost of hallmarking such pieces will be included in the price quoted for any bespoke, personalised or commissioned work.
This cost can be reduced very considerably if you are happy to wait until we next take some regular stock for hallmarking.
If your commissioned piece is under 7.78g in weight, we can if you wish, stamp it with ".925" to show that it is "Sterling Silver" and dispatch your piece of jewellery as soon as it is completed.
What Does Handmade Mean?
Handmade means that the item has been made by a real person (me!) using hand tools: Hammers, saws, files and excitingly, blowtorches! I cut sterling silver sheet and wire by hand and forge it into the desired shapes and forms using centuries old metalsmithing techniques, before hand finishing your item. Any power tools are operated manually and there are no 'mass-production' techniques in my work. Each piece of jewellery is unique.
How Long Will I Need To Wait For My Item?
All items will have a clear delivery time stated on ordering. Please check this carefully before placing your order to ensure that your item will reach you in time. I work hard to send orders out as soon as possible after an order is placed, but at busy times, items can take the maximum period stated. If you have an urgent deadline to meet, please message me before ordering to see if it is possible for me to "rush" your order. Depending on current work volumes, this may be an option.
Any "rush" order will incur a 20% surcharge, plus any postage fees in addition to the standard postage charge for the item in question. E.g. A £40 item when ordered as a "rush" item will incur a 20% additional fee of £8, so £48 in total, plus your chosen p&p service.
What Is The Black Colouring On My Jewellery?
If your jewellery has black colouring on it, it will be one of three things:
First, deliberate oxidation/patination of the silver in the production process for artistic effect and to highlight texture and detail in the item.
Second, where an item features text or design elements, for example in personalised pieces, this may be created with the use of patination as described above or with the use of a non toxic cold enamel that creates contrast and allows the text or image to be clearly seen.
Third, over time, sterling silver may develop tarnish. This is entirely normal and inherent in the metal. It is essentially oxidation of the alloy metals in the .925 sterling. Tarnish can be avoided with regular cleaning of your jewellery with a soft silver polishing cloth and with careful storage in a clean, dry jewellery box.