See also the definitions page in this guide for additional information on hallmark components. Note at centre of the image at right the four elements of the hallmark. Detailed image of hallmark far right. Locate the assay office. If your item does not have one of the standard fineness marks, either traditional or numerical, then it is probably silver plate or is from another county. Go no further. The date letter shows the year that assaying was carried out. The date letter example above represents Prior to the date letter varied for every office. After that it became uniform for every city.
The Story of English Silver
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.
This useful list of links will help you research silver and silver plated wares, including maker’s marks, hallmarks, and values, all online.
But, to be honest, some are much better than others. Use this guide to discover some of the favorite spots where those in the know go online. You will learn to understand and research silver origins, craftsmen, and manufacturers using hallmarks, along with a few online value guides to help you with that daunting task as well. There are many different grades of silver, and even antique items that look like silver such as German silver, nickel silver, and alpaca but are not at all what they appear to be.
This guide will help you decipher the basic marks associated with silver and understand exactly what they mean. This popular site is highly recommended by avid collectors and antique dealers alike.
Silver plate date marks
In Part I, I gave a brief history of the development of the British silverplating industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. Now I would like to offer some tips on how to determine whether a given object is silver, Old Sheffield Plate or silverplate. In England silver has been marked in some manner since the 12th century when it was first regulated by Parliament.
With silver plating, it suddenly became possible to democratize the trade of silversmithing in order to make beautiful silver pieces more affordable.
I have several older pieces of silver; trays, plate, silverware, and am having trouble finding ways to identify them. I would like to start with 2 items and hope I can get pics up. This small silver tray is a EPC piece but the other markings I cannot find. There is a bearded man, crown and what looks like a fancy g with a slash through the middle, then the number Can you tell me what this all means.
Also, how would one get the black marks out of the center of the tray? Hi there Jewels, and thanks for joining us.
Researching Silver and Silverplate Online
Our goal is to include every important online source of silver, gold, and jewelry marks on this list. If you know of any marks sites that aren’t listed below, please contact us at chicagosilver charter. For an index to this master list of marks, click here. Chicago Silver Marks. Kalo Marks. Deciphering Numbers on Silver from Assn.
A guide to resources for identifying hallmarks and understanding the process of mark, the standard mark, the assay office mark and the date letter for the year. fineness marks, either traditional or numerical, then it is probably silver plate or.
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 indicate date of manufacture and additional information about the piece. In some countries, the testing of silver objects and marking of purity is controlled by a national assayer’s office.
Hallmarks are applied with a hammer and punch, a process that leaves sharp edges and spurs of metal. Therefore, hallmarking is generally done before the piece goes for its final polishing. The hallmark for sterling silver varies from nation to nation, often using distinctive historic symbols, although Dutch and UK Assay offices no longer strike their traditional hallmarks exclusively in their own territories and undertake assay in other countries using marks that are the same as those used domestically.
One of the most highly structured hallmarking systems in the world is that of the United Kingdom, Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland , and Ireland. These five nations have, historically, provided a wealth of information about a piece through their series of applied punches. Since the year , the French assay mark for items made of solid silver is the head of the goddess Minerva in profile.
The French have two standards for silver purity or fineness.
Everything You Need to Know About Identifying Silver
The statute made it the responsibility of the Wardens of the Goldsmiths’ Guild to mark all items of sterling standard with a leopard’s head stamp. Today there are still offices in Edinburgh, where hallmarking has been regulated since the 15th century, and in Birmingham and Sheffield, where assay offices were established by an Act of Parliament in
Hallmarks. Silver hallmarks in the UK date back to the medieval period and in Ireland and Scotland seldom sent their plate to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dublin to.
Our illustrated guide highlights the subtle ways you can discover the origins of any piece of silver. One of the most common inquiries at antique shows often has to do with authenticity: How do you know whether or not something is made of real silver? Collectors aren’t always looking for pure sterling silver , per se, but they should be able to know the value and composition of the pieces they’re buying. Most of the time, you can find the information you’re looking for by simply taking a closer look at the teaspoon , fish fork, ice cream saw, or cheese scoup that you’re eyeing.
More often than not, you can find an indented mark or a series of marks that can tell you a lot about the item: what it’s made of, where it was made, when, and by whom. You can find many different kinds of silver in the marketplace today. Some of the oldest American silver is “coin,” which contains at least Mint after the American Revolution-which rose to 90 percent in the years after Sterling, on the other hand, must be at least This standard
READING BRITISH SILVER HALLMARKS
The other marks are interesting as they show exactly where an item was made, who made it and when. This hallmarking identification dates.
So can you trust the marks on your silver? The laws currently on the books the prohibit misleading marking date all the way back to One definitive way to find out if you have some Sterling silver or Fine silver is to take it to a professional appraiser, antiques dealer, or a pawnshop. However, one of the most common tests they can run — scraping a bit of the metal away and then applying a drop of nitric acid — will damage the piece to a small degree. Find out more about acid tests for Sterling silver here.
There are also a couple easy home tests you can do to help point you in the right direction. Ice test: Silver is a very good conductor, and will relay cold or heat very quickly. Put a few ice cubes in a container not the one you are trying to test and add about an inch of water.