Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Making your mark

                                                                           Carol Dekle-Foss

Have you considered a maker's mark for your jewelry creations or handmade beads? It's great for brand name recognition and also adds perceived value. There are all kinds of custom maker's mark stamps including ones for metal, clay, and Precious Metal clay. 

In doing a little research for this post I discovered a long history on hallmark stamps and their meanings. Lang Antiques has tons of information and examples if you are interested in knowing more. Here is the rabbit hole. Hallmark stamps have been in use in England and France since the 14th century. One of their purposes was to to protect the consumer when purchasing precious metals. The purity stamp or "fineness" mark signifies the content and quality of the metal, such as the .925 mark or 14k. The maker's mark was a designation of responsibility for the designer. Every country has their own way of handling hallmarks. The USA doesn't necessarily hallmark, but precious metal jewelry has to indicate fineness as of 1906. In 1961 the responsibility or maker's mark became mandatory if a purity mark is used. 

So here in the USA, if you put purity stamp like a .925 mark on your jewelry, by law you have to have a maker's mark as well. Good to know! 

I recently designed and purchased a maker's mark. Looking back to when I created my business name, I would have made it shorter! I tried acronyms for the stamp, like TRD, but that was lame. Who wants a piece of jewelry from turd? Lol. So for recognition I just used the whole name. It's a bit large, but oh well. 

I went through Infinity Stamps. Their customer service is great, the stamp came a week early, and the detail is amazing.

Here are just a few ways to use a maker's mark.

The ring was my very first piece to stamp. It's going to be hard for me to part with and may very well end up in my jewelry box. I forgot to add the .925. Oops.

 I love how the round tag added a bit of jangle to the bracelet!

 I'm still learning the placement and how hard to hit the metal. The .925 ended up being to close and crooked.

So tell me, have you considered investing in your very own maker's mark? I hope this post has inspired you to do so!


TesoriTrovati said...

First off, your jewelry is GORGEOUS! I love where you are taking your talents! So. Very. Impressed. I love the idea of a maker's mark. In fact it was the first thing I did back in 2005 before I even had a clue as to who I was or what I would do! I wrote a post about signing your jewelry with a tag back in 2012 for the Art Bead Scene that has been one of our most referenced posts. At the time I wanted to use the Infinity stamps but they only had a limited option for the tags. I went with something different but I am glad I did because I like using little copper tags for my key stamp. Of course, now skeleton keys are all the rage and I could pick up a generic key tag for less than $20 but I still like my little key that is a replica of my logo! Great article as always! Enjoy the day. Erin

Carol Dekle said...

Thank you Erin, after many jewelry pieces made with a what the heck was I thinking response, I finally feel like I am coming into my own style.

Darn it! I didn't include 'tag' in my search or I would have found and included your links. Your posts are very thorough and provide great information. Your stamp is too cute, and I love how you send a little handwritten card with all the components and info. Very clever. Thank you for including the link! I remember now reading your posts and saving them somewhere for future reference!

I sent Microstamp my design and they never responded back. I had waited for 2 weeks. I then left a message, and again no response. Very strange.

Thank you Miss Erin!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I have thought about it for a very long time, but never went about doing it. How would you do this for earrings? Those are my biggest sellers.

Carol Dekle said...

Hi MaryAnn!

Earrings are my biggest seller too. You can stamp if you use a piece of copper, but most will just have to be left as is. Some of your ceramic pendants would be nice with your logo!

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