LONDON DATE LETTERS CHART / SILVER HALLMARKS UK
The date letter and the traditional fineness marks are no longer compulsory components of the hallmark. However, we believe that the date letter is a very important component of the hallmark, as it is the easiest way to date an item and research has shown that most of our customers still want to see the traditional fineness mark on the hallmark. Unlike some of the other UK assay offices, we do not charge any extra to apply the two non-compulsory marks. Those only wanting the compulsory marks applied should indicate this on the hallnote.
Read more about the other legally recognised marks in the UK, International Convention marks, and Commemorative marks here.
Jul 30, – silver and sterling silver markings | date letters chart silver hallmarks uk edinburgh silver date marks.
The English hallmark system in the United kingdom goes back over years. Almost all pieces of silver coming out of the UK from the last years have an English silver hallmark, authenticating both its purity level and indicating many other factors regarding its origins, date, and maker. British silver hallmarks are regulated by assay offices across England, Scotland, and Ireland. There have been many hallmarks used throughout the years, and numerous guide books have been written on the subject.
By using this book, anyone can easily decipher the hallmarks stamped into silver pieces from the UK. There are five steps in reading hallmarks:. The standard mark indicates the fineness of the alloy used.
Dating Antique Silver Hallmarks
The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last years is stamped with either 4 or 5 symbols, known as hallmarks. The prime purpose of these marks is to show that the metal of the item upon which they are stamped is of a certain level of purity. The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices. Only metal of the required standard will be marked.
English silver hall‑marks: including the marks of origin on Scottish & Irish silver plate, gold, platinum Hallmarks and date letters on silver, gold and platinum.
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. Since , the date letter has been optional. Most silver and goldsmiths making bespoke pieces will still opt to use the date letter, however for mass produced silver items it saves the importers money to leave it off.
It should have the initials within a shield.
READING BRITISH SILVER HALLMARKS
June 20, 1 Comment. At Top Banana Antiques we have written a hallmark guide which will tell you everything you need to know. It is considered one of the earliest forms of consumer protection, as hallmarked items are tested, authenticated and marked at assay offices. The earliest known English hallmark dates back to A.
A brief, easy to follow guide for reading the hallmarks on British Silver. The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last years is stamped Look for a matching date letter with or without the duty mark as needed.
A fine example of a Scottish Georgian Silver toddy ladle, by very fine makers. The ladle is Fiddle pattern, and is engraved with the initial C, in contempory style. Toddy ladles are uniquely Scottish, used for that “wee dram” of spirits, but also suitable as sauce ladles. The hallmarks are very clear and detailed the tree, fish and bell in the Glasgow town mark are all visible , an additional “star” journeymans mark is also present.
Silver by Gray can be found with both Glasgow and Edinburgh marks, as between and the Glasgow assay office was closed. A lovely set of early Scottish tablespoons, complete with a double drop, by John Welsh, who was entered in , and who made the Liberta Communion cups. The makers mark and townmark are very clear on both spoons, the date mark and thistle are visible one one spoon slight wear , and worn on the other. A Scottish silver clan badge, which can be worn as a pendant or as a brooch or kilt sash pin.
This is the crest and motto of the Campbell clan of Barbreck. The Campbells of Barbreck are from the Argyll district. The badge is very good quality, the lion is cast and has lovely detail, it stands out from the badge.
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.
The step by step guide to trace British sterling silver hallmarks. influence outside the capital was limited and a plethora di unofficial Scottish Provincial marks was created. These are the links to the date letters tables of main Assay Offices.
Hallmarks, research and identification. Arminjon, Catherine. Imprimerie Nationale, Paris. Bauer, Ronnie History of hallmarks. NCJV Valuer, v. Bly, John. Shire, Princes Risborough. Sheffield Assay Office, Sheffield,England. Brand name and trademark guide. Brave new world of Hallmarking Goldsmith’s Review, pp.
The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last years is stamped with either four or five symbols, known as hallmarks. The prime purpose of these marks is to show that the metal of the item upon which they are stamped is of a certain level of purity. The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices. Only metal of the required standard will be marked.
It is a form of consumer protection, whose origin goes back almost years. There are so many different hallmarks found on British silver that to know all of them would be impossible.
Edinburgh Date Letter Chart – Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks Vintage Costume More then 15, silver hallmarks from all over the world.
A series of marks usually four stamped on articles made of gold, silver, or platinum in the UK to indicate the maker, the hall or assay office making the mark, the quality of the metal, and the date of assay. Each of the four halls London, Birmingham, Sheffield, and Edinburgh have distinguishing marks e. The quality of gold was indicated by a carat mark 22, 18, 14, and 9 carats until , after which it was expressed in parts of gold per e.
The quality mark for sterling silver parts per in England is a lion passant and in Scotland a thistle or lion rampant. Britannia silver is indicated by a full-length figure of Britannia. Platinum is indicated by an orb. The date is indicated by a letter in a specifically shaped shield. Hallmarks on precious metals are accepted internationally and there are heavy penalties for forging them or selling articles made in the UK of these metals except those exempt without them. The future of hallmarks is, however, uncertain, owing to current moves to make the marking of precious metals consistent throughout the EU.
Oxford Reference. Publications Pages Publications Pages.
Antique Silver Online from J.H. Tee Antiques Ltd.
Silver Dictionary’ of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu , a pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, Sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington , history, oddities In Scotland the craft was theoretically supervised by the Edinburgh Goldsmiths’ Incorporation, but in practice its influence outside the capital was limited and a plethora di unofficial Scottish Provincial marks was created.
London leopard’s head crowned until London leopard’s head uncrowned present. London lion head erased. Birmingham anchor present.
What follows here is a brief overview of silver hallmarks in England, Scotland, and This date letter changed each year and has proved to be of enormous value.
Scotland is well-known for his clans, the fearless militaries going to the battlefield preceded by their pipers and the unspoiled nature of the Highlands with lochs, rivers, salmon and stags. Deciphering marks on silver items is a fascinating pastime for silver collectors, but mostly they have no idea of the background of these marks and the reason why specific punches were chosen as town mark or standard mark.
The scope of this article is to trace back the origin of Scottish silver punches to the earliest times and to bring the reader up-to-date on this subject. Hallmarks were for most part, freely adopted by individuals or clans at some point in the Middle Ages and in many cases it is impossible to define the meaning of it, if any. In particular cases however symbols and emblems of official seals were the source of town marks and were subsequently integrated in city coat of arms.
As explained hereafter some punches are even linked to Scottish legends, which is not surprising as Scotland has an extensive heritage in that field. This thistle mark was used as a national emblem of Scotland. From to present the lion rampant replaces the Thistle as the standard mark. According to legend Scottish soldiers were forewarned of Viking invaders by their screams as they were wounded by thistles whilst creeping ashore.
Sterling silver was guaranteed in Glasgow with the Lion Rampant mark from till the closure of the assay office in The lion is shown rearing up with three legs stretched out and has been incorporated in the Great Seal of Scotland and symbolises the strength of the Scottish people and their ferociousness in battle. Lion rampant left Royal coat of arms of Scotland as used before center note 3 Scottish version of the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom since right.
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 The leopard’s head silver hallmark, which has been used in various forms as the symbol of the London Assay Office since hallmarking began.
– Buy Hall Marks on Gold and Silver Plates: Illustrated with the Tables of Annual Date Letters Employed in the Assay Offices of England, Scotland.
By law in the UK, precious metals over a stipulated weight i. A hallmark can only be applied by one of the four UK Assay Offices. More information can be found in this guidance leaflet issued by the British Hallmarking Council. Hallmarks which are applied by member countries of the International Hallmarking Convention are also accepted.
If you are considering investing in some precious metal or interested in antiques it is helpful to understand what hallmarks mean. The different symbols in a hallmark will tell you who made the item, what the standard of metal is, where it was hallmarked and possibly the date when it was hallmarked. The art of hallmarking in the UK has a long history; it dates back years, when a rigorous and very sophisticated system of hallmarking was developed.
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.
Scottish hallmarks have been regulated by statute since but the earliest known example dates only from to Example Edinburgh Silver Hallmark -.
Have you ever wondered what your piece of Scottish silver is worth? Find out more about the history of the Scottish silver and how to recognise Scottish hallmarks and get in touch using the form below for a free valuation. Scottish silver is one of our passions and we have made this guide so that you can read the marks on your piece of Scottish silver. Scotland had its own slightly peculiar system of marking silver, so if the marks on your Scottish silver are baffling you then hopefully you can use this guide to help you get started.
If you are deciding on how to sell your Scottish silver we can have a no obligation chat on the best options for you. We can either make a personal introduction to the best saleroom based on your location and item free of charge. Or we can look into collecting you some no obligation offers for a private sale, which could save you considerably in commission.