Benjamin James Ryan

Technical

Due to the prestigious nature of the work produced by Benjamin James Ryan, all pieces produced are assayed and regulated by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths’ London Assay office and the prestigious Sheffield Assay Office.

The Goldsmiths’ Company has been trading since 1300 and offer independent assessment, ensuring the purity of the metals used. It is these tests that are carried out that are indicated through the marks struck. Sheffield & Birmingham has also been indenpendently assaying metals for over 250 years.

The Images below represent the four assay offices of Great Britain: from left to right, the Leopard’s head of London, the Anchor of Birmingham, the Rose of Sheffield, and the Castle of Edinburgh.

As it now stands, the compulsory part of the UK hallmark consists of the sponsor or maker’s mark, the assay office mark, and the standard of fineness. In the example below BJR represents the makers mark of Benjamin James Ryan, the Leopard’s head for the London Assay Office and the 925 to indicate 925 silver parts in 1000, to state that the metal is sterling silver.

The bottom example shows the extra marks that can also be struck… the lion passant symbol indicating Sterling silver, and the (a) the date mark (lowercase (a) for ‘2000’).

Benjamin James Ryan’s creations are currently marked at both the London & Sheffield Assay Offices.

The BJR makers mark will always be seen next to either the Leopards head of London or the Rose of sheffield. The date marks will invariably change, as will the purity number of the metal and its symbol depending on what material the work is made from. Benjamin James Ryan makes it standard practice to have all the marks and symbols struck on his work, either hand struck or laser marked.

For further information on hallmarking in relation to the Hallmarking Act 1973 please click here.

When purchasing jewellery or a item made from precious metal there are several things to take into consideration especially when cleaning and maintaining the works original appearance.

For the most part items with a shiny polished finish will only need a quick going over every once in a while with cotton wool or a soft polishing cloth. If cleaned regularly this will be more than sufficient to bring the piece back to its original sparkle and shine.

If you have a piece that requires cleaning and has a mixture of different finished surfaces, for instance matte and shiny,  it is often best to use Whitening Powder and Cotton Wool or Silver Dip or Silver Foam.

Cotton Wool, Silvo & Whitening Powder:

Ideally pieces should be carefully cleaned using cotton wool. If a surface is shiny it is best to dab the impregnated cotton silvo from the tin onto the surface of piece. You should never rub or buff with the impregnated cotton silvo, as it will leave directional scratches that may alter the appearance and finish of your piece. For the best results wiping and buffing shiny surfaces should only really be done with soft cotton wool.

For matte surfaces whitening powder mixed with a drop of water should be gentle applied and gentle buffed off, again using cotton wool.

Silver Dip:

For the best results it is advised to rinse and wash the piece down with a soft cloth in warm soapy water (i.e. washing up liquid). Then submerge the piece into the silver dip solution for around 10 seconds or so, again wash and rinse, and dab dry using a fresh clean soft cloth and than buff any light water marks off with cotton wool.

Silver Foam:

This product is very clever and chemically similar to the silver dip and is perfect especially for matte items or areas on a piece with grubby finger print marks or tarnish blemishes. By simply cleaning the piece again in soapy warm water with a soft cloth and applying the foam like substance with its provided sponge, rinsing and again dab drying thoroughly, all types of the marks described will be lifted from the surface without a trace.

These cleaning products listed above will come with cleaning instructions, and the above information is our suggested process, but if you are in any doubt in what to do or feel that the information listed above contradicts the instructions on the cleaning product, please do not hesitate to contact us for further instruction.

Re-Finishing & Repairs:

For an item that you have had for a long time, or accidentally damaged through cleaning, using or wearing, it may be necessary to have the piece re-finished to bring it back to its original splendour and glory. Although there are many companies that can offer repair services, due to our inside knowledge of how each item is made and the exclusive nature of our products, it is advised that if the piece is a Benjamin James Ryan or a BJR designs product that all repairs and re-finishing are carried out in house.

Costs for this service will vary dependant on the amount of work involved and complexity in restoring or re-finishing a piece, but can usually be carried out for a reasonable fee.

Again if you have any doubts or queries about any of the information listed above please do not hesitate to contact us for further guidance or instruction.