Sterling Silver pens and jewellery are defined as having 925 parts silver in every 1000. In other words, they are 92.5 percent pure silver. In the jewellery trade, this is often referred to as 925 silver.
100% pure silver is quite soft and pliable and easily marked and damaged. So, sterling silver is created, alloying pure silver with a very small amount of other metals to make it a more robust, yet still precious, metal. Copper is one of the metals used most often in this process.
Sterling silver is used in the highest quality silver pens, frames and jewellery because it is both durable and easy to maintain while remaining the height of luxury and sophistication.
The process of hallmarking dates back to the 1300s when the first Assay office was introduced at Goldsmith's Hall in London. The purpose was to regulate the jewellery trade and to ensure that genuine precious metal items could be readily distinguished from plated and fake pieces. Items which passed the 'Assay' or test, were given the 'mark of the Hall' or Hallmark. Thus, Hallmarking became an early form of consumer protection.
For example the Assay office will test to ensure that 925 sterling silver is at least 92.5% pure silver. This is to ensure that the customer can buy with complete confidence that their silver pen picture frame or piece of jewellery is every bit as precious as stated. Only once this test is passed is the hallmark granted.
Sterlling Silver 925 Hallmark
Today this process is applied to all silver, gold and platinum items at a choice of assay offices in London, Birmingham, Edinburgh or Sheffield.
No piece of sterling silver can be sold in the UK unless it bears a hallmark to confirm it's purity over the weight of 7.8 grams.
All our silver pens, silver gifts and other accessories are hallmarked by the Assay Office at the Goldsmiths' Hall in London or at the Birmingham Assay Office.
For more information on hallmarking, check out the Goldsmiths' website at http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/assayoffice/