Hallmarking & the law
At Gennywren Silver we only work with silver classified as "Sterling Silver" or fine silver. Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by mass of silver and 7.5% by mass of other metals, usually copper. Fine silver is 99.9% pure silver and is normally only used for components such as bezel settings, rather than structural elements, as it is generally too soft a metal to be strong enough for the rigours of day to day wear. Indeed, this softness and lack of durability is the reason behind the development of the sterling alloy.
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:
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.
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.
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 unless otherwise stated, the item has been made by a real person (me!) using hand tools: Hammers, saws, files and excitingly, blowtorches! Each piece begins with sterling silver sheet or wire which I cut and shape by hand to forge it into the desired shapes and forms using centuries old metalsmithing techniques. I then hand finish your item. Any power tools are operated manually and there are no 'mass-production' techniques in my work. This means that each piece of jewellery is unique. I use a variety of natural gemstones, handmade beads and crystal elements in my work. There may be inherent variations between an advertised piece of jewellery and the piece you receive, unless it is advertised as a "One of a kind" or "OOAK" piece. In these circumstances, the item shown in the photograph is the exact item you will receive. I try hard to accurately represent the items I sell and I endeavour to capture the true colour of a gemstone or bead. Nevertheless, different devices may display pictures slightly differently and you should allow for some variation between picture and real item.
Each piece, whether a "One of a kind" piece or not, will ultimately, be unique to you. Kind of cool, huh?
How long will I need to wait for my item?
All items will have a clear dispatch time stated on ordering. For most items, that is around 14 days. Please check dispatch estimates 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. Please also bear in mind that once in the hands of Royal Mail, any delays are beyond my control. I will nevertheless do my best to help and support in case of any problem.
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.
All UK orders up to a total value of £20 are delivered with 1st class Royal Mail shipping. This is charged at £3.95.
All orders with a total value over £20 will be sent using Royal Mail's Special Delivery service. This is to ensure that high value orders are tracked and signed for mutual security. The Special Delivery service is an insured service. This is charged at £7.95.
International orders will be sent tracked and signed at cost. This will vary depending on the total value of the item(s) ordered but will be from £13.
What if I change my mind or have a problem?
If you change your mind about an item and wish to return it for refund or exchange, please email firstname.lastname@example.org within 14 days of receiving the item stating your order number and explaining the reason behind your change of heart. Once you have let me know that you wish to return or exhange an item, you must then return it to me within 14 days.
Items being returned should be returned unworn or unused in their original packaging and in their original condition, using the same postal service as they left our workshop. thet items must be fit for resale. If items are not returned in this condition, a refund may not be possible.
Please note the following items are non-returnable/non-refundable unless they are found to be faulty.
Personalised or commissioned pieces
Limited edition pieces
Should you believe an item to be faulty, please email me at the above address as soon as possible after noticing the fault, including a full description of the problem and clear photographs. After initial assessment based on this communication, the faulty item will need to be returned to me for full inspection and to allow me to verify my quality assurance procedures before any refund may be agreed and issued.
Please note that where a non fault return or exchange is sought outside the initial 14 day period, return postage will be the responsibility of the purchaser and must be equivalent to the method of postage used in initial dispatch.
Your statutory rights are not affected.
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.
How should I look after my jewellery?
Please be aware that all metal will tarnish over time. This is a natural & unavoidable process that can occur at a different rates, depending on exposure to chemicals such as perfumes, body lotions or swimming pool chlorine as well as your own body's natural Ph level! You can reduce tarnish by avoiding putting your jewellery in contact with hand creams etc and by removing it before swimming or going in other treated waters, such as in Hot tubs. It is also advisable to avoid manual work whilst wearing jewellery, both to protect your jewellery and for health and safety considerations.
Aluminium jewellery & gifts
Aluminium is a very lightweight metal. It is a less expensive option than sterling silver and allows me to create a range of more budget friendly gift items. Aluminium has the benefit of being non-tarnish & hypo-allergenic. It is a little softer than sterling silver so care should be taken, particularly with cuff bracelets.
Cuff bracelets - special advice
Cuff bracelets are designed to be a close fit. They should never be flexed open or closed to put on other than a minor, initial adjustment, if needed, when first worn. Instead, they should be slid onto the wrist sideways. The gap in the "C" of the cuff should fit over the narrowest part of your wrist. Once on, twist the cuff 90 degrees to final wearing position.
How do I know what size ring or bangle to order?
It is really important to order sized pieces carefully. If you dont know what size you need, there are two really comprehensive guides to read through on my blog pages. To find out more about ring or bangle sizing, click here. If you're in any doubt, please get in touch and I will do my best to help you.