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  • Writer's pictureKaren Ward


You might not realise it but much of the metal used in making jewellery is recycled, jewellers have been melting down old pieces of jewellery and scrap to re use for centuries. When Mum gave me this old “ingot” pendant ( I remember her wearing it when I was at school) to see if I could melt it down to reuse, I thought I would investigate its history. As it was fashionable at the time to have these oversize “ingot” pendants it makes it nice and easy to see the hallmarks so that I can show you how they are used to identify items made from precious metals.

The top mark as you can see is an R and X in interlocking circles, as I already knew that the next mark, the Anchor stands for Birmingham assay office it was simple to look up makers marks beginning with R on their website. This identified the maker as a company called Ronex who were Birmingham based manufacturing jewellers working between 1960 and 1979.

The bottom mark D is the date mark for the year the item was hallmarked which in this case is 1978, this date mark applies to all hallmarks struck anywhere in the UK during the year no matter at which assay office.

The third mark is the type of metal used, in this case Sterling silver, again this mark applies no matter which assay office hallmarks the piece,

The four current assay offices all have comprehensive websites where you can find out the history of hallmarking and its importance. Then all you need to do is get out your magnifying glass and have a look at your own jewellery and see if you can find out its story!

My dilemma now having traced the history of this piece is do I melt it down? I rather think I shall keep it as it is for now.

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