Dating english silver hallmarks

dating english silver hallmarks

How do I Date my Silver from its hallmark?

To date your silver from its hallmark first identify the assay office (e.g. anchor for Birmingham, leopards head for London, etc.). Then click on the appropriate link below to go to the tables of date letters. If you are unable to identify the assay office from one of the town marks below you may have a piece of imported silver.

What is a silver hallmark in the UK?

In the UK there are four offices who could have applied a silver hallmark: Birmingham (anchor stamp), Edinburgh (castle stamp), Sheffield (Yorkshire rose stamp), and London (leopard stamp). The date is a common additional hallmark that might be applied, and will usually be a letter that corresponds to a specific year.

What is an English gold and silver mark?

English gold and silver articles have been marked by some form of hallmark since the 13th Century. This duty was originally carried out at Goldsmiths hall in London. Today there are four assay offices in the UK, although there have been several others over the intervening years.

What is the purpose of a silver mark?

Silver hallmarks date letters Pure precious metals, such as silver and gold, are generally too soft and malleable for practical use. They are therefore mixed or alloyed with other harder metals. Hallmarks provide impartial proof of an articles precious metal content.

How do you read hallmarks on silver?

Knowing the history of silver flatware and other items can be very helpful for reading hallmarks. For example, if you see a duty mark on a piece, you’ll know that it was made between 1784 and 1890. You can narrow it down even more if you know when that mark was the king’s head and when it was the queen’s.

What do the marks on the bottom of silver mean?

Silver Identification Guide January 1, 2020 The marks on the bottom of a piece of silver can be an indication of the age, maker, and origin of the piece. This mark is referred to as a “hallmark.”

How do I know if my sterling silver is real?

For example, the lion passant is standard to identify a piece as sterling silver. If this mark isn’t there, it means the piece is most likely silver plated. You can find a list of the common town marks, date letters, and other hallmarks online or in a number of different guide books.

When did Irish silver start to be hallmarked?

The Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh was thought to be in the 1490’s and the earliest surviving records date from 1525. The hallmarking of Irish silver began towards the middle of the 17th century. The mark of origin is the Harp Crowned and it appears with a date letter and maker’s mark.

What do the markings on the silver standard mean?

The silver standard mark. This mark indicates the item’s silver content. Without one of these marks, the item is most likely plated. There are 13 potential purity markings, depending on the purity as well as the city of origin. *It is possible for the item to be stamped with just a number to indicate its purity (e.g. 800,900,925).

What are silver hallmarks and why do we use them?

Silver hallmarks are particularly likely to be found on silver jewellery and antique silver items (such as cutlery). . Why do we use hallmarks? Silver – like gold – is soft when in its pure form, and would be unsuitable for many items.

What is a silver marker?

Silver hallmarks have been used in the UK for centuries. The term hallmark originated from ‘The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths’, who originally tested and stamped gold items. Meeting in Goldsmiths Hall, London, the marks they applied soon became known as hallmarks.

Is there a marking system for silver plate?

There is no recognised system for the marking silver plate or electroplated silver items. Both are, though, commonly marked with EPNS - ElectroPlated Nickel Silver, and EPBM - ElectroPlated Britannia Metal. Any punches in silver plate or electroplated silver are strictly speaking simply marks and not hallmarks.

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