Sending pieces of #Jewellery to the #Assay Office can be confusing and nerve racking at first. You've got all of your beautifully created pieces made and you aren't really ready to let them out of your sight. In short you're scared that you'll never see them again. But never fear. It's a simple process that just feels a little daunting. Here are a few tips that I've learned that I hope will help.
1. #polishing : Don't do the final polish yet! Your piece is going to be handled and stamped by the people in the Assay Office. In my experience they are very good and your pieces will return to you as good as when they left. But theres really no point in putting that final buff on your shiny new #ring until you've had the mark stamped. Scratches can happen and if they do, you'll just have to polish it again. So get a mid shine on it and send it away. Nobody is going to criticise you for not sending your best work... 2. Laser or Stamp When you fill in the form you get asked if you'd prefer the Assay Office to Laser or Stamp your #hallmark. On the one hand, an actual Stamp feels good. Like you're entering into a special club with other Metalsmiths through #history. But on the other hand, if your piece is delicate the #Stamp can leave the metal with a small bulge where it's displaced by the process of stamping. The other consideration is longevity. A Stamped mark will last longer than the Laser #mark because it's deeper, so will with stand more wear. It can be a tricky decision. For me I always look to stamp if I feel that my piece will take it, and most of what I do will. But if I'm in any doubt, I usually tick the very helpful box that lets the Assay Office use their discretion. I figure that they know when Stamp or Laser will best be used and in most cases I've found that they Stamp as much as they can. 3. #Packaging your pieces The first time I ever sent my #Silver pieces to the Assay Office I wrapped my pieces in tissue paper and put them inside the cardboard inner from a toilet roll. I was really surprised when the pieces came back in the same makeshift container. I can't remember why I used such a weird packaging technique, but it worked well and I got everything back no problem, which gave me huge confidence in the process. The next time, and every subsequent time I've wrapped the #jewellery in tissue paper and put them in a plastic box with little divided sections. The box comes back every time with the pieces wrapped in the same pieces of tissue.
So there you have it, my top 3 tips. I hope this was useful. Please do let me know and if you have any questions or personal insight or advice, please do share them with me. I'd love to learn from your experience.