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What is hallmarking? Hallmarking is a stamp which is applied to metals to denote their precious value. In the UK, the hallmarking law states that a piece of silver which is over 7.78g needs to be hallmarked to be legally sold as silver, and likewise for gold weighing over 2g. Looking for the hallmark when purchasing jewellery or silverware is a stamp of authenticity, protects the buyer from plated or sub-standard metals being passed off as solid metal. In order to be hallmarked, pieces have to be sent to an Assay Office. Every single item is tested before it can be being hallmarked. There are four Assay Offices in the UK, they are located in London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh....

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Cleaning silver and gold jewellery

Silver jewellery in particular will blacken over time, as it reacts with sulphur in the air, and even gold will benefit from a little care from time to time to revive it. This change on the surface of the metal is known as tarnish. Some people also find that their particular skin chemistry causes silver to tarnish more quickly than others. When tarnish does build up, I recommend these excellent cleaning methods: Silver foam is my first choice for cleaning tarnished silver and gold jewellery. It is gentle on the metal, making it suitable for polished, textured and brushed finishes. Follow the directions on the pot, and wash well afterwards in warm soapy water. Thoroughly dry the piece after cleaning...

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Taking care of your handmade jewellery

Looking after your jewellery will allow you to enjoy wearing it for years to come. Here are some tips of mine for looking after your jewellery, to help prevent tarnish and damage: Avoid spraying perfume or applying creams directly onto your jewellery, ideally your jewellery should be the last thing you put on when getting ready. Remove your jewellery when you shower or bathe, particularly on the beach, in the sea, and in chlorinated water. Chlorinated water in particular can accelerate tarnishing of silver. Avoid wearing your jewellery when using bleach and other harsh household cleaners. Remove your jewellery item when playing sports, gardening or anything else that could cause the jewellery to get knocked or damaged. Store your jewellery...

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