Dating sterling silver hallmarks

Home Dates. Click on the letter you want to date or on a date letter cycle column in the table below to see a larger view:. By the latter part of the 18th century Birmingham was becoming an important centre of the silver industry. Silver was required to be assayed before sale but the nearest assay offices were either London or Chester. Industrialists from both Birmingham and Sheffield petitioned Parliament to be allowed to establish assay facilities local to each town.

London Date Letters

Hallmarks are authenticating marks struck on most silver items produced or offered for sale in Ireland. Since the Assay Office in Dublin Castle has been the only body with the authority to perform this task. The marks serve several functions:. In Ireland, sterling silver is not less than Below are a few examples and a guide to reading antique Irish silver hallmarks, followed by photos of as many date letters as I could manage.

JS; this is the maker, John Smyth of Dublin. This is the stamp for 3. The harp crowned, the purity mark. This shows that the article is sterling silver. This was a duty mark. Next is a much older set of antique Irish silver hallmarks. Unlike the first photo, the marks are not in an orderly line. This is normal. Though technically they were breaking the law, this interesting quirk of history gives pieces from these locations their own unique history and charm.

The year in which a piece of Irish silver was made can be determined by the date letter — this is one of the marks described above, applied by the assay office when it is hallmarked. As there are only 26 letters in the alphabet, they are reused, which each cycle slightly different to the preceding one. However, sometimes it can be a challenge to identify which year a piece of Irish silver was made — the differences between some of the cycles can require a trained eye.

This post is quite long, apologies to fans of diamond photographs! There are 90 images or so of date stamps from the last years, which should help to determine the age of a piece. Originally the letters cycled every 24 years, one year per letter of the alphabet, excluding J and V. In the modern era, these letters are included, giving a year cycle.

Over time it will hopefully grow to be a complete listing of Irish silver date letters. There is a big gap from until , and towards the latter half of the 20th century, hopefully I can do something about that soon! The marks serve several functions: The photo below shows a typical set of antique Irish silver hallmarks. From left to right, the marks are: For a piece of this age, these would be considered excellent marks. Dublin Dublin Date Letter.

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The step by step guide to trace British sterling silver hallmarks. How to identify from ). These are the links to the date letters tables of main Assay Offices. a widely illustrated guide to London silver assay marks, marks and hallmarks of British silver, including date letters chart, silver marking system and silver.

View Basket 0 items. British silver hallmarks were first introduced in After this date, it was an offence to sell any precious metal without the appropriate hallmarks. Buyers of silver products made in the UK should therefore notice several different hallmarks stamped into the surface of the pieces they are buying.

Since approximately , Egypt has adopted a Gold and Silver hallmarking system.

A typical set of antique British silver hallmarks showing left to right ; 1. Standard Mark, 2.

Silver hallmarks and hallmarking

Dating hallmarks silver In the date letter and silver that it was uncrowned. London birmingham sterling silver platinum and consumer protection dating silver hallmarking is shown here. Main characteristic of british silver assay office on the second mark was originally carried out at goldsmiths hall in england. Identify gold standard. Is a single reference book, as you to you to scotland, not shown in dating.

Dating london silver hallmarks

The full detail of what assay marks mean, when they are needed and what they look like can be found on the London Assay Office website. The date letter allows you to determine the date the piece was assayed. There is a 25 year cycle of letters. The images below are date letters from a series of ingots — I have made at least one every year since I registered my mark. I have had some pieces so marked. The Jubilee mark is show above and depicts a young Queen Elizabeth with an oversized crown in a diamond surround. The LAO have a list of charges for basic and supplementary services. Basically there is a fixed charge and a per item charge. All silver sold must be assayed and hallmarked if it weighs above 7. I like to have my work assayed even if it is less than that.

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.

York hallmarks began around the mid 16th century. The York assay mark was initially a half leopards head joined with a half fleur-de-lys in a round shield. In the late 17th century the half leopards head was replaced with a half seeded rose. Collins Gem Antique Marks.

LONDON DATE LETTERS CHART / SILVER HALLMARKS UK

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. This is to ensure it is of the required sterling silver standard and, provided it conforms to a standard, a series of symbols are stamped into each part of the item. Today and for the past few centuries, this stamp or silver hallmark has shown the place and year of manufacture of the assayed silver item, as well as the silversmith who made or sponsored the item. The laws governing silver hallmarking are very strict and if an item does not comply with a standard the item will not be hallmarked and will probably be destroyed. A false silver hallmark has always been treated with the utmost severity by the law and in the past a silversmith was pilloried for their first offence, where they would be pelted with rotten fruit and vegetables. There was a simple reason for this seemingly Draconian behaviour in that the manufacture of silver and gold was allied to the minting of currency. Therefore, by debasing silver or gold, the offender was undermining the coin of the realm. A treasonable offence in times when treason was punished by death. Sometimes called the Sterling Mark, the lion passant, the mark for Made in England, first appeared on English silver and gold in For two years it was crowned, but has been struck ever since in its present form by all English Assay Offices.

London Date Letters

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. This is to ensure it is of the required sterling silver standard and, provided it conforms to a standard, a series of symbols are stamped into each part of the item. Today and for the past few centuries, this stamp or silver hallmark has shown the place and year of manufacture of the assayed silver item, as well as the silversmith who made or sponsored the item. The laws governing silver hallmarking are very strict and if an item does not comply with a standard the item will not be hallmarked and will probably be destroyed. A false silver hallmark has always been treated with the utmost severity by the law and in the past a silversmith was pilloried for their first offence, where they would be pelted with rotten fruit and vegetables. There was a simple reason for this seemingly Draconian behaviour in that the manufacture of silver and gold was allied to the minting of currency. Therefore, by debasing silver or gold, the offender was undermining the coin of the realm.

Irish Silver Date Letters

Go to the bottom of the page for flatware age identification. Also skipped over are the Q and V, so be careful when checking dates. The year opened with the traditional circle with a 17 inside. The two marks shown above were also used. P vases are not date marked as well as many other pewter items

ChineseArgent: All Silver: Art, Antiques, Hallmark & Articles

Turkish silver hallmarks. Most early American antique silver pieces consisted of silverware, tankards, mugs and other drinking utensils. It has an extensive database helpful for researching silver marks, hallmarks, trademarks and maker's marks on old silver from around the world, especially those used on vintage and antique sterling along with coin silver. We are pleased to offer a fine range of antique sterling silver Tea Sets. English sterling - encyclopedia of silver hallmarks and belk.

Silver hallmarks

Home Dates. 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.

Dating Antique Silver Hallmarks

Hallmarks are authenticating marks struck on most silver items produced or offered for sale in Ireland. Since the Assay Office in Dublin Castle has been the only body with the authority to perform this task. The marks serve several functions:. In Ireland, sterling silver is not less than Below are a few examples and a guide to reading antique Irish silver hallmarks, followed by photos of as many date letters as I could manage. JS; this is the maker, John Smyth of Dublin.

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