Dating silver hallmarks guide date letters. Date Letters.
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How to easily identify and date sterling silver hallmarks
The purity mark for Irish silver is the harp crowned. Because of this, some companies within the U. The mark of the Limerick silversmith Joseph Johns. Items bearing British Import marks will sometimes have additional marks from the country of origin, sometimes not. Chester - closed in Mark: An additional British hallmark that is no longer used is the tally mark, which was the unique mark of a journeyman finishing his apprenticeship. Thus a system was devised where each member of staff had his own punch journeyman or workman mark , sometimes cut with the initials, but more often cut with a small symbol a star, a leaf, a triangle, etc. The old hallmarks were as unique as today's logos, and disputes often arose when one company copied another's stamp. Makers' Marks The company or person responsible for sending a silver article for hallmarking has their own unique mark that must be registered with the assay office — a process that has been compulsory since the 14th century. Irish silver also contains the image of Hibernia. The marks struck for Alexander Cameron of Dundee. The name of the artist or manufacturer may now be used for this. The series of hallmarks described above are still in use in today. An additional mark to indicate that an item was assayed outside the UK is likely to be introduced in If there is ever a question about the content of a piece of jewelry, the manufacturer can be traced using the hallmark stamped on the piece France[ edit ] The French assay mark for sterling silver is the head of the goddess Minerva.
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Assay Office's published guide detailing many of the fakes and forgeries Britannia Standard Silver Historically the standard mark for sterling. Beginning in and new system was instituted in which each assay office stamped its own symbol as the import mark, this replaced the town mark.
Some of these ceased hallmarking as early as the Stuart period the Norwich assay office identified by a crowned lion passant and a crowned rosette shut in , while others such as Chester three wheat sheaves and a sword and Glasgow a tree, bird, bell and fish were still operating into the post-war era.
For a variety of reasons this practice was not always adhered to and the resulting anomalies can be seen in the tables of marks. Date Letters Although no longer compulsory, British hallmarks typically include a letter to indicate the year when a piece of silver was assayed.