Make Your Mark 201s

Make Your Mark is the annual event with a competition by the London Assay Office to design a piece of jewellery which celebrates the London Hallmark. I was lucky enough to be shortlisted for the Make Your Mark 2019 Awards for my design “Toolery”. Intended as a piece of jewellery for makers to wear themselves, the miniature silver hammer celebrates the tools of the trade and could also be used as a seal to stamp wax, because every tool must have a function!

Held at the gorgeous Goldsmith’s Hall which is the historical home of all things precious, I was thrilled to see my design exhibited amongst the other finalists!

Make Your Mark Awards 2019 at The Goldsmith’s Hall

Make Your Mark Awards 2019 at The Goldsmith’s Hall

Inspiration- my Dad’s tool collection-plane with the succession of different owners

Inspiration- my Dad’s tool collection-plane with the succession of different owners

So thrilled to see my design in such great company!

So thrilled to see my design in such great company!

“Toolery” a piece of jewellery for makers

“Toolery” a piece of jewellery for makers

Make Your Mark is a whole day of talks and and demonstrations throughout the beautiful building. Aimed at students, graduates and apprentices it shares information on hallmarking, manufacturing and the jewellery industry to provide a support network which is so crucial in self employment when often working alone.

The Full Traditional Mark: L-R: Sponsor's Mark (the maker), Traditional Fineness, Millesimal Fineness, Assay Office (London is a Leopard), Date Letter

The Full Traditional Mark: L-R: Sponsor's Mark (the maker), Traditional Fineness, Millesimal Fineness, Assay Office (London is a Leopard), Date Letter

I love the history of hallmarks, their symbols are the secret language of precious metals which can unlock the history of a piece to tell you the story of who made it, the material and when and where it was made.


Traditional testing where the item was scratched onto a touch stone and compared to different metal alloy examples. Where the expression, “Coming up to scratch” originates to show you were what you said you were!

Traditional testing where the item was scratched onto a touch stone and compared to different metal alloy examples. Where the expression, “Coming up to scratch” originates to show you were what you said you were!

Stack of wedding bands in different precious metals by my superskilled jeweler friend  Rachel Jones  who specialised in metal alloys for her MA at the RCA.

Stack of wedding bands in different precious metals by my superskilled jeweler friend Rachel Jones who specialised in metal alloys for her MA at the RCA.




Even though I have been making jewellery for many years now I had never had my own makers’ mark before as it is only used when making in precious metals which I had not used much of apart from a few components.

However this year is a very exciting one for me as I have been learning more technical skills in metal with a fantastic tutor Nina Gilbey at London Jewellery Workshop, so I was able to attend Make Your Mark for the first time this year and register my own unique mark!

“Every Mark Matters” mine will be my signature stamped (or lasered) on every piece of precious metal jewellery!

“Every Mark Matters” mine will be my signature stamped (or lasered) on every piece of precious metal jewellery!



As every mark needs to be identifiably different you have lots of shapes to choose from to frame your initials. Thanks for all of you who helped me to decide when I posted the selection on instagram, especially my pal Eden who said that I she thought my style doesn’t suit very straight edges, so true! So in the end I chose this beautiful bouncy shape as it reminds me of lots of wonderful things I love like scallop shells, oak leaves, malachite, jellies, clouds…

Ancient Greek Golden oak leaf crown in the British Museum

Ancient Greek Golden oak leaf crown in the British Museum

Swirling malachite from the  Stamatiadis Mineral Museum  in Rhodes

Swirling malachite from the Stamatiadis Mineral Museum in Rhodes

Amazing pie shaped gourd in the local shop

Amazing pie shaped gourd in the local shop

A sumptuous scallop shaped sink outside our room on one our Greek adventures

A sumptuous scallop shaped sink outside our room on one our Greek adventures

Dave and the XRF Machine

Dave and the XRF Machine

One of the highlights of the day was chatting to Dave Merry who is a bit of a legend at the assay office having just retired after 47 years (huge congrats Dave!). Excitingly we were able to get a demo of the XRF machine in action. The XRF is a low level x-ray machine that is used to test metal items to measure the components giving the percentage content. I had been wondering about my little pinky ring which I bought a few years ago from a vintage market but didn’t have any hallmarks, so Dave said we could test it so it came off my finger and into the machine!









The graph of my ring showed the alloy to be 768 out of 1000 parts

The graph of my ring showed the alloy to be 768 out of 1000 parts

Gold fineness, 750 or above is 18ct gold until it gets to 916 which would be 22ct

Gold fineness, 750 or above is 18ct gold until it gets to 916 which would be 22ct

My little gold ring

My little gold ring





I thought from the style it was probably Victorian, and hopefully solid gold as it hadn’t shown signs of wearing off yet so I thought it might be 9ct but as there were no hallmarks on the ring I had never known for sure what it was made from.

Using the magic of the machine Dave could show me on the graph the exact content of all the metals that made up the alloy.

The graph showed Au content was 768-I was thrilled to discover my little ring was 18ct gold!

That means it had twice as much “fine gold” in the alloy, which also included silver, copper and zinc and gave it a yellowy colour overall. Depending on the quantity of fine gold and the other metals in the alloy it could make the final metal combination appear more red (“rose gold”) or silvery (“white gold”).





“Transition” by Rachel Jones 2018, Over 1.5 meters of wire in a blend of all the full spectrum different alloys from fine gold to fine silver. Usually an object can only be hallmarked with the lowest carat/percentage of precious metal unless they are clearly seperate. Maybe for this special project they could instead have a hallmark added along the wire at different points to show each change in alloy!

“Transition” by Rachel Jones 2018, Over 1.5 meters of wire in a blend of all the full spectrum different alloys from fine gold to fine silver. Usually an object can only be hallmarked with the lowest carat/percentage of precious metal unless they are clearly seperate. Maybe for this special project they could instead have a hallmark added along the wire at different points to show each change in alloy!

Look for the Leopard! The London Hallmark. has changed over hundreds of years. and even used to have a regal crown. I love the different expressions too!

Look for the Leopard! The London Hallmark. has changed over hundreds of years. and even used to have a regal crown. I love the different expressions too!


I am really excited to see my own unique maker’s mark on my first pieces of precious metal jewellery. The steel stamp will be made by hand in the traditional way just like it has been for hundreds of years and hand stamped by hand here in London so it will also bear the famous leopards head!