Club Speaker - Ian Fillan - Hallmarks

Mon 20th November 2017 at 19.15 - 21.30

Club Speaker - Ian Fillan - Hallmarks

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 Rotary Club of Birstall Luddites   
Club Speaker - Ian Fillan - Gold and Silver Hallmarking 
Our speaker Monday 20th Nov was Ian Fillan; a member of the RC Huddersfield and a silver merchant. The family firm Fillans & Sons Ltd of Huddersfield, has been in the area for over 150 years, hence firsphoto>>
Ian was also a director at the National Association Goldsmiths of GB and Ireland
Ian has been in the Jewelry business for 35-40 years.
Ian started his talk by explaining about the hallmark
and its object to give consumer protection from fraud and the essential fact that an item of Silver or Gold or Platinum in the UK has to have a
Hallmark from Assay before it can be sold.
The UK Hallmarking system has offered valuable protection for over 700 years. Compulsory Hallmarking protects all parties; the public who receive a guarantee of quality, the manufacturer who is given quality control and protection from dishonest competitors at a very low cost and the retailer who avoids the near impossible task of checking standards on all his goods.
Ian went on to explain about Assay, that it identifies the age and origin of an item
He explained the 5 marks 
Who made the item,
What it is made of,
the Quality mark,
Where made
and the When date mark. 
LINK - Hallmarking Guidance notes

Ian explained about Silver and Gold purity, pure Gold being 24 carat but too soft in this form to work hence it  being mixed and Silver 925 is Sterling and 958 is Brittanic silver.      
Ian explained where the Assay Offices are now London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh.An item comes into the office it is tested and marked, the marking can now be done by laser.
Ian talked obout how it is illegal to sell without a mark on the antique, he showed the tools of the trade , a magnifying glass eyepiece of 2 x magnification and also lens with 10 and 15 mag.He showed the essential Bradburys Book of Hallmarks containing the letters and shields of the hallmarks and how they change
every 26 years.
Ian talked about his grandfather in the 1840s and his experience with Jewellers selling unmarked items and about fraud .
Ian showed an Armarda dish and a silver Quaich .
 Rotarians had been invited to bring items to be valued. 
Ian and wife Chris photo to left     

Ians wife Chris who is a very experienced qualified valuer was able to verify the silver hallmarks and give more information.               
Bill gave thanks to Ian and Chris for their talk and valuations from the club                    


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