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Hallmarking with Fiber Lasers

redENERGY G4 20W RM-Z

Hallmarks are a series of official marks struck on items of precious metal and can be found on all pieces of gold, silver and platinum jewellery. Traditionally hallmarks were struck with steel punches but today they are more commonly made by Laser marking and engraving.

LaserPower DemandBeam ØScanner/LensEnergy
 redENERGY G4 20W RM-Z 20W<1.6 RM8mm (F75)1mJ

The Laser is especially useful in marking delicate items or hollowware which would be damaged or distorted by the punching process. These marks can either be produced in 2D generating simple patterns while with 3D marking engraved marks can be made that more closely simulate traditional punched marks.

An example of a hallmark on a ring

An example of a hallmark on a ring

 

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Hallmarking

Which lasers work best?

A broad range of Lasers can be used for this application, but the redENERGY 20W RM-Z is most commonly used in conjunction with a 163mm F-theta lens. The process is extremely quick taking <1s to produce a simple logo and some alphanumeric characters.

The laser marking process for hallmarks

The marking is typically a 2 pass process where the main mark is made using low speed (400mm/s) with high pulse energy (0.8-1mJ at low rep rate (20kHz). The mark is then subsequently cleaned by a faster (4000m/s) higher frequency (100kHz) lower pulse energy (<0.2mJ) cleaning pass to remove debris and discolouration.

Benefits of using a fiber laser

There are numerous benefits of using a fiber laser for hallmarking. The process is entirely contact-free, which is safer for the user and reduces the risk of contamination. None of the surrounding material is removed, which is important with the valuable material, which is being hallmarked (e.g. gold, silver, platinum).

Additionally, hallmarks made are 100% precise and accurate, which is especially important when applying a mark as important as a hallmark.

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Contacting SPI Lasers to discuss hallmarking and the jewellery industry

Why not contact SPI Lasers today and we can advise which of our fiber lasers would best suit your requirements for hallmarking and other purposes. Hallmarking makes use of our marking application, others you may benefit from through our fiber lasers would be ablation, additive manufacturing, cleaning, cutting, drilling, engraving and welding.

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Image Credit: Candere Online Jewellery Store

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