Home Dates London Date Letters Click on the letter you want to date or on a date letter cycle column in the table below to see a larger view scroll down for earlier dates: It has been in operation since the s when a law of Edward I required all silver sold in England to be of at least the same quality as the silver currency hence the term “sterling” for the silver standard. Originally the assayer would visit the workshops of the gold- and silversmiths to perform the assay. If items passed they were authenticated with the King’s mark, a leopard’s head. By it was deemed more practical for items to be brought to Goldsmiths Hall for assay and a permanent assay office was established there. This is the origin of the term “hallmark”. In the leopard’s head mark was adopted as the mark of the London Assay Office. A letter mark coinciding with the date of assay was first introduced in London in Originally it signified the Assay Master responsible for testing and marking the silver. The date letters were changed on the day that the Goldsmith’s Guild wardens were elected, originally St Dunstan’s Day 19 May until the Restoration and 29 May thereafter.

What you need to know about jewelry hallmarks

Wed Mar 21, 8: In the beginning only one silver standard was used normally of very high fineness. Later two, sometimes three standards were use 1st standard Grote keur and 2nd standard Kleine keur Some cities like Gouda have used an uncrowned city mark for 2nd standard silver. As of the 1st standard for objects; maker’s mark, city mark crowned together with a province standard mark crowned and a year-letter.

On small object, light weight often maker’s mark only. The 2nd standard introduced ; makers’ mark, city mark crowned or uncrowned and sometimes with or without date letter.

Antique silver hallmarks have been used to control the quality of goods made of silver since the 14th century and the organisation that regulates the craft, Goldsmiths Hall, gave the world the term hallmark.

The list consists of designers and maker’s marks that have been difficult to find in reference materials so far. When information is found it will appear with credit given to the person who provided it. Thank you, in advance, for your assistance. US silver companies such as Gorham and Tiffany often used both marks in the late ‘s. Britain never used a standard less than Hence why British silver is sought after pre hundreds.

Britain would not accept any standard below as silver.

Good Pair English Silver Queen Anne Style CANDLESTICKS. Hallmarked London

Since the date letter has become optional and the other three symbols remain compulsory. Sterling Silver Quality In its pure state silver is a too soft to be practical for either coinage or domestic use. During the Saxon period in England the percentage of silver in coinage was fixed at

The required use of import marks to be stamped on foreign made silver was instituted in A letter “F” in an oval cartouche was stamped alongside the regular hallmarks, the maker’s mark being that of the British importing firm (sponsor’s mark).

The decision was taken to limit the practice of clipping and melting sterling silver coinage which standard was maintained to sterling to make silverware. This behaviour had its origin during the reign of Charles II after the “restoration” , owing to of the largely increased request of fashioned silver for luxury and ostentation purposes note 2. The change of the “standard” required the change of the hallmarks.

The “lion passant guardant” denoting sterling standard was replaced with the female figure, commonly called “Britannia”. The “leopard’s head” mark of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths identifying the London Assay Office, but used in many provincial offices together with their proper town mark was replaced with a “lion’s head erased” note 3 Moreover, any silversmith was required to register a new maker’s mark composed by the first two letters of his surname instead of the initials of forename and surname, single initial or a device previously used.

The “Britannia standard” alloy was softer, less robust and a little more expensive compared to “sterling standard”. Furthermore, the maintaining of “Britannia standard” allowed the export of English silver to France while this practice was not allowed with “sterling” silver which was below the standard authorized in France. The restoration of the “sterling standard” ensued in the adoption of former hallmarks used prior “lion passant guardant” and “crowned leopard head”.

Mystery Marks

Distinguishment[ edit ] Hallmarks are often confused with “trademarks” or “maker’s marks”. A hallmark is not the mark of a manufacturer to distinguish his products from other manufacturers’ products: To be a true hallmark, it must be the guarantee of an independent body or authority that the contents are as marked. Thus, a stamp of ‘ ‘ by itself is not, strictly speaking, a hallmark, but is rather an unattested fineness mark.

London Hallmarks. The London Assay Office is administered by the London Goldsmiths’ Company. It has been in operation since the s when a law of Edward I required all silver sold in England to be of at least the same quality as the silver currency (hence the term “sterling” for the silver standard).

If jewelry has hallmarks and they appear authentic, identifying its value is a whole lot easier. But many countries — including the U. How does a budding collector begin to unravel this puzzle? Europe, 19th to 21st Centuries , due out in its second printing this month. Yes, especially in the U. Even in the U. As a result, there is nowhere to research the identity of a signature or mark.

You will only find hallmarks on jewelry made in countries that have laws that require independent testing of metal fineness and that document their makers marks with an official stamp — a government stamp or an independent lab stamp — indicating the results of such testing. In most European countries, a secondary system is set up where the assay office tests the pieces and puts their stamps on it to indicate that it was verified by an independent body.

Most people buying an expensive diamond today want a certificate issued by an independent organization like the GIA.

English electroplate silver: marks and hallmarks of English silver plate

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Email Print The marks on the bottom of a piece of silver can be an indication of the age, maker, and origin of the piece. This is a list of American silver marks and solid American silver. Other lists include silver-plated wares and pewter. It will not help you to identify other silver. Four or five small pictorial marks usually indicate England as the country of origin.

Queen Victoria faces left. Queen Elizabeth faces left. Silver was stamped with a lion for London, a thistle for Edinburgh. The harp indicated the piece was made in Dublin.

Meaning of types of marks & hallmarks on silver & jewelry

Distinguishment[ edit ] Hallmarks are often confused with “trademarks” or “maker’s marks”. A hallmark is not the mark of a manufacturer to distinguish his products from other manufacturers’ products: To be a true hallmark, it must be the guarantee of an independent body or authority that the contents are as marked. Thus, a stamp of ‘ ‘ by itself is not, strictly speaking, a hallmark, but is rather an unattested fineness mark.

Prerequisites to hallmarking[ edit ] Many nations require, as a prerequisite to official hallmarking, that the maker or sponsor itself marks upon the item a responsibility mark and a claim of fineness. Responsibility marks are also required in the U.

A silver object that is to be sold commercially is, in most countries, stamped with one or more silver hallmarks indicating the purity of the silver, the mark of the manufacturer or silversmith, and other optional markings to dating sterling silver hallmarks date of .

It is miles from complete but culled from as many lists as I can find. In the s Edwin Holmes noted there were over silversmiths in Birmingham alone and felt it would be a never-ending task to list the ones who had made thimbles. I have a listing from which lists all the Birmingham silversmiths and Norma Spicer has produced a list from the assay office in Birmingham which is included in this list. So tho Holmes noted that there were over silversmiths, only a fraction would have produced silver thimbles and current thinking in is that the bulk of this listing are the names of wholesalers, factors or sponsors who had thimbles produced with their marks, but they did not actually make the thimbles.

These are the antiques of the future!! I have included variations or additions to names, listing the silversmith under the most commonly found maker’s mark. These maker’s marks are usually found in a lozenge on the rim of the thimble and again these vary from maker to maker. Some marks will have been stamped directly onto the band, not in a lozenge; or into the indentations which makes identification more difficult.

As mentioned, some of these marks may not be for actual thimble maker but the marks registered for factors or wholesalers. It was not uncommon to have one of the four big Victorian silversmiths produce thimbles with maker’s marks of the wholesaler or sponsor. The marks for these wholesalers would still have to be registered and this would usually have been done by the thimble maker who would have submitted the punchmark on behalf of the client.

A dead giveaway is the Registration design number [RD] that belongs to one of these silversmiths on the rim along with the “mark” of the factor, who commissioned the thimbles to be made..

Leopard Antiques Links

Tweet Whether you want to buy or to sell jewelry or watches, the first step in figuring out value is to identify what it is, when and where it was made, and by whom. A maker’s mark can help but if jewelry has hallmarks, this process is almost foolproof. Pinpointing maker and metal content is often pretty easy. A hallmark is a separate stamp made by an assay office — in countries that have an assay office.

London hallmarks date the brooch to , the rest to Although reputable firms mark their jewelry, registering marks is not required.

Hallmarks on British & Irish Silver To date your silver from its hallmark first identify the assay office (e.g. anchor for Birmingham, leopard’s head for London, etc.). Then click on the appropriate link below to go to the tables of date letters.

Dating british silver hallmarks, the essential pocket reference Date Letters This mark is sometimes mistook for the standard mark but it was in fact a special duty mark, used only in Dublin. Locate and identify the City Mark. To the collector, the main importance of this mark is that it helps you find the date letter. However you should make it very clear that these images are not taken from the item being sold.

A “registered” date in the “Dates seen” column gives the date when the mark was registered at the Assay Office and may not necessarily coincide with the date it was hoya dating rumours used. In addition an acknowledgement of this site as the source would be appreciated. There are so many different hallmarks found on British silver that to know all of them would be impossible. As an example, you can see the date letter for in London, Sheffield and Birmingham.

Its purpose was to establish when a piece was presented for assay or testing of the silver content. Edinburgh, Scotland – From to present, a lion rampant mark same as Glasgow’s has replaced the Thistle as the standard mark.

How To Interpret A Hallmark