The second hand item service is for items that are submitted to us where the metal or fineness is unknown, usually because the items, or part of the items, were not made by the person submitting it for hallmarking, or if pre-owned items are melted together creating an unknown standard on a new item.
Often parts of the same item consist of different metals or finenesses therefore requiring additional testing or verification of each individual item rather than a sample batch test. When items fit into this category the second-hand service fee in our Pricelist will apply. You can see the Pricelist in our Downloads section here.
Second hand packets cannot be processed in one hour or overnight (“Early Hall”), if you select an Early Hall service we will process your packet as a priority but do not guarantee a turnaround time. Due to the complexity the lead time is usually significantly longer than standard hallmarking services; at least 7-12 working days.
All second-hand services need to be submitted at Goldsmiths' Hall. Each item can be grouped together regardless of metal type as the strongent checks need to take place for each item. They should not be submitted with items which are newly made.
Change of Use / altering already hallmarked articles
The practice of altering already hallmarked articles is becoming increasingly popular - below are our guidelines on this process and detail on the various outcomes. Where an item already bearing a hallmark is changed on purpose, ie. a spoon is shaped to become a bangle, it still needs to be submitted to an Assay Office for verification to ensure its provenance is detailed.The law as outlined in The Hallmarking act states: ”.. it shall be an offence for any person to make an addition, alteration or repair to an article bearing approved hallmarks, except in accordance with the written consent of an assay office.”We call the process of granting consent for alterations, “Change of Use”.There are four possible outcomes:
If you change an item from one form to another, without adding any metal to the product, we will process this as a change of use packet, assaying the metal, ensuring the hallmark remains valid, adding a reference number to the piece and assigning this number onto a change of use certificate which can accompany the piece when it is sold.
If you add metal to the original item (there are weight restrictions as stated in 5(4) of the Hallmarking Act* Pg. 7) and change its use then we assay and hallmark this in its own right, charging a second-hand item fee, cross-hatching over the existing mark, leaving the provenance of the original hallmark and applying a new hallmark on to the piece at the appropriate standard.
If you add metal to the original item (there are weight restrictions as stated in 5(4) of the Hallmarking Act* Pg. 7) which has not had its use changed then an additions mark can be applied.
If there is no hallmark on an item, irrelevant of whether the use of it has been changed or had parts added, then it needs to be submitted for a new hallmark and charged as a second-hand item if the standard of the metal is unknown. This also applies if the hallmark is deemed illegible by us.
All Change of Use Services must be submitted at Goldsmiths' Hall.
Please submit as a second-hand service packet and state in special requests "Change of Use". This will then be treated as such.
*You can get a copy of the Hallmarking Act in the Downloads section here.