It's been extremely busy at Tanzanite Jewellery since the brakes came off the Covid-19 enforced lockdown. We had a number of custom made jewellery orders that had to be put on hold, as our workshops closed in Jaipur, India. They had a severe lockdown my jeweller told me. They were not even allowed out of their houses between certain times, and the police were strict! Did you know that at one time, 80% of the world’s precious and semi-precious gemstones would pass through Jaipur for cutting and polishing on their way to market, and still, today, Jaipur is renowned as the Gem Capital of the World.
So, we have had some exceedingly patient clients who have had to wait rather a long time for their custom made jewellery, and a number of these pieces are now with the Birmingham Assay Office for hallmarking. Off in the post via Royal Mail Special Delivery was a sensational three carat trillion cut Tanzanite set in White Gold (pictured below right). Tanzanite is a challenging gemstone to photograph as it can look very different from different angles due to the pleochrism of the gemstone. I think my picture shows some of its beauty!
Another beautiful Tanzanite set we have made is this pendant and matching earrings on the left. We had initially made a Tanzanite ring in yellow gold and then our client asked us to custom make this set, to match her ring. She also contacted me to ask about the launch of a special rainbow logo that the Birmingham Assay Office have just launched.
They write: "The Rainbow Logo Mark will be available for a limited period from July 1 – December 2020.
The mark depicts the rainbow symbol that has become synonymous during the current pandemic. The mark will be applied with the date letter ‘V’ in combination with a statutory hallmark, and can be lasered on gold, silver, platinum or palladium. It can also be applied as a standalone logo on non-precious metal articles.
CEO and assay master, Doug Henry, shares: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been developing an idea which enabled us to say ‘thank you to the NHS’ and also to raise much needed funds for the NHS charities. The rainbow seemed to be the obvious choice, and the addition of the heart to symbolise love, loss and hope during the pandemic.”
The minimum size mark available for the rainbow will be 0.75mm, the additional cost for the mark will be £1.00 and for every mark applied 100% will go to the NHS charities."
I think this is such a brilliant idea. It is also rather nice to have the date letter stamped on the jewellery too. This use to be a compulsory mark, but no longer is, which I think is a shame, as one is now not able to date jewellery. The only three compulsory marks for any jewellery hallmarked are:
The Maker's Mark - that's us! We have our very own punch with our company letters on it. We saw this a number of years back when we visited the Assay Office. It was so exciting to see it. It's always an excellent place for us to go to keep up to date with what's going on. The punch is kept in a filing system along side every other jeweller that uses the Birmingham Assay Office for hallmarking.
The second compulsory Mark is the Standard Mark. This will tell you exactly the metal your piece of jewellery is made from. So if you ask us to make in 14k gold, and the hallmark came back 9k (which it never would!) you would know. So for 9k gold the jewellery would be stamped "375", 14k gold is "585" and so on. Below is a useful chart which shows the different Marks.
The final Mark is the Assay Office Mark, which tells you exactly who tested the metal. We use Birmingham and so our jewellery will be hallmarked with the Anchor.
If you are interested in reading more about the history of hallmarking and why it began in the first place, this link to The Birmingham Assay Office is very interesting. More about Hallmarking