Authorisation for Change of Use

Upcycling isn’t just the practice of transforming old materials into useable objects, it is the process of breathing a new lease of life into well used and loved items to give them a new story and personality. All this while at the same time creating something that is useful, functional and beautiful.

For jewellery, this can mean remodelling an old silver spoon found lurking in your loft into a new item of jewellery such as a bangle or pendant.

But what are the rules regarding altering an item of precious metal which bears an existing hallmark? Are you unintentionally breaking the law?

For items which have been re-worked to change their use (for example a silver fork becoming a bangle), you need to submit them to an Assay Office for authorisation. We will examine the article, identify the original hallmark and issue a certificate signed by the Assay Master.

For other alterations, the following conditions apply:

  •  The addition must be of the same standard as the article to which it is being added
  •  The weight of the addition must be no heavier than 0.5 grams in platinum, 1 gram in gold, 1 gram in palladium and 7.78 grams in silver
  • The addition must not be greater than 50% of the article’s total weight

Any other alteration must be re-submitted to an Assay Office for testing.

Click here to see a sample Change of Use Certificate.

To find out more about the whole range of services offered by Sheffield Assay Office, such as our hallmarking and analytical services, please email us at or complete the contact form on our website at

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