I have finally joined the Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia! I have known about the guild for many years and respected what they stood for but it has never been the right time until now.
Most of my career I have been an employee and used the company stamps, I didn’t have my own independent business or designs. By the time I did start my own business in 2010, CAD had become a large part of what I was doing and I thought the guild wouldn’t accept me unless everything was handmade.
In April 2015 however, I started some part-time work at Tony Kean Jewellery in Bendigo, where I met Mr Kean himself, who helped found the guild in 1988. Mr Kean told me more about the history of the guild, helped me understand their aims, and let me know that I was eligible to join.
What the guild mark means
Almost all jewellers stamp their work, but registration with the guild provides an opportunity for lay people and professional Jewellery Valuers to easily trace a member’s work, now and in the future.
Though easy website reference and an annually updated Valuers book, the full provenance of an article can be established and market value determined. And let there be no doubt, an article with a registered makers mark will always be worth more in the future than one without.
It also provides a trace to a member in the event of an item requiring proper repair and maintenance. And potential clients can go to http://gsga.org.au to find members in their local area, or that have specific design or technique skills. I am very proud to have been accepted as a member.
Below is a simple chart of the compulsory Marking System for the Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia.