Temporary hours: Monday – Closed Tuesday – Friday Close Book. The importance of verifying that something is what it claims to be has always been an issue in the trade of jewellery and precious wares. In part this is because gold, silver and even platinum are not generally used in their pure form to create jewellery or wares. The reason for this is due to both the price of making something in pure precious metal and also the relative softness of using pure precious metal whether it be gold, silver or even platinum. Other metals are added in order to make something more workable, harder or even to add a different colour, for example the “rose” in rose gold is due to the copper it is alloyed with. The fact is that by simply looking at an object one cannot assess whether a less expensive alloying metal has been used, whether an item is simply plated, or what the quantities of precious metal are. There have always been fraudsters or dishonest people who have sought to take advantage of this fact in order to misrepresent an object in order to get a better price. For this reason hallmarking is of vital importance and we are lucky today to have sound peace of mind that what we are buying is in fact what we are being sold; and this is due to the development of the hallmarking process. In the Middle Ages the industry was self-regulating and crafts were usually controlled by craft guilds.
jewelry and metal hallmarks and symbols
Gold quality stamps and hallmarks have been used for centuries to affirmatively identify the type of gold used in the given jewellery as well as who tested or confirmed the quality of gold involved as well. Eventually, these markings where then modified to identify a given goldsmith involved in the manufacturing as a branding stamp. Why have these marking continued into modern times with all the paperwork available and ability to digitally record data by the millions of records with computers?
The reason is simple. How easy can the average person tell one gold jewellery item from another?
How to date silver, gold, and platinum by the assay and fineness marks stamped on these articles. The Fineness mark is a representation of the assayed purity of.
Vintage Watchstraps. This page is principally about hallmarking. A hallmark is a legally mandated mark applied by an independent testing authority that shows the fineness of precious metal; gold, silver or platinum. Not all marks on watch cases are hallmarks! For instance, a mark could be a be manufacturer’s trademark, and there are is no such thing as an American hallmark.
Other assay offices were later opened in centres where goldsmiths worked. The fineness of the metal is tested to make sure it meets legal requirements, and then it can be stamped with a hallmark. In addition to the fineness, hallmarks show where and when an item was hallmarked, and under whose name it was submitted. This page helps you to make a start on reading the hallmarks in your watch case by identifying in which country it was assayed and hallmarked.
You are then directed to another page with more detailed information. If you want to get a book about British hallmarking, Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks published by the Sheffield Assay Office is a long established reference.
Case Marks: Marks in Watch Cases
Purchasing antique gold jewelry can be a challenge. It’s hard to know how old the piece is, what style it is, or what kind of gold went into making the piece? Hallmarks are the signposts on your journey of discovery, but there are lots of side roads you will travel in learning about the marks and their meanings. Hallmarks are used to identify the purity of metals, particularly gold and silver. The marks are stamped into the metal and can tell you both about the metal’s purity and the history of the piece: where it was made, what year, and the manufacturer.
Gold hallmarks date letters. Today there are four UK assay offices: Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Sheffield. Before these current locations, there were.
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. Most British and Irish silver carries a number of stamps indicating not just the standard or purity mark typically the lion passant but also the initials of the maker, a date letter and the place of assay.
The Edinburgh mark is a three-turreted castle to which a thistle was added from until when a lion rampant replace the thistle ; the mark for Sheffield was a crown until when it was replaced by a rosette, while the symbol for silver made in Birmingham is an anchor.
Dating Jewelry – Precious Metal Hallmarks
Originally it was used to identify the silversmith or goldsmith responsible for making the article. The initial letters of his Christian name and surname are used. In the case of partnerships and companies nowadays it generally consists of the initials of one or more of the partners and in the case of a limited company the initial letters are used.
How to recogonize British hallmarks and UK hallmarks and understand the date and purity of these metals. Tateossian presents your guide to gold, silver.
A Maker’s Mark is a unique stamp placed on jewelry and watches to ensure the authenticity of the manufacturer. These stamps are typically made up of the manufacturers initials, name, or another unique representative symbol. Identifying this mark is the first step in determining the value of a piece of jewelry. In addition to Maker’s Marks, some countries require hallmarks, which are given by the country where manufacturing took place. Hallmarks can offer further information about the place of origin, date of manufacture, and metal content.
Join Now – It’s Free.
The History of UK Hallmarking
Do you have a piece of gold jewellery and would like to know more information about it? Gold-Traders has compiled a gold hallmark identification wizard to help decipher the markings that are stamped on your item. Have a look at your piece of jewellery. These markings will be pretty small, so you’ll need a magnifying glass to see them properly! Note : The following gold hallmarking identification wizard is supplied without warranty.
Silver, palladium, gold and platinum are rarely used in their purest form but a hallmark, if the seller can prove that it is of minimum fineness and was Gold. Platinum. Palladium. Sterling Silver. Scotland. Sterling. Silver. The Date Letter –.
Want to learn more about the origins of gold and silver hallmarks? The origins of jewellery hallmarking can be traced as far back as A. D when the first standards of gold and silver quality were officially laid down. However, the true beginning of hallmarking as we know it today dates from A. It was at this very early stage that the standard of acceptable fineness for silver was set at Today, jewellery hallmarking, alongside all hallmarking is governed by the Hallmarking Act of This 39 page document outlines the current British legislation covering all items made from precious metal.
UK hallmarking regulations are some of the strictest in the world, and we are one of only a few countries that have compulsory statutory hallmarking.
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.
A simple and easy to understand gold hallmark guide that explains British The final stamp on our ring is the date stamp which tells us the year this item was.
The passage of time and repair work has marred or eliminated marks from many pieces making them harder to identify the precious metal content, the country of manufacturer or the maker. The British hallmark used from to , is a crown, while in Scotland, the hallmark is a thistle. The British only used 18 or 22 karat gold during this time. The karatage is usually the karat number, followed by a c, ct, or carat. It may be marked or , as well.
After , the British begin to hallmark jewelry pieces made in 9, 12, and 15 karat gold as well and the crown is still used, however, the karatage is indicated with a mark that denotes the fineness in parts per thousand, for example the mark is nine karat, is 12 karat, and is 15 karat. In , 14 karat, often marked , replaced 12 karat and 15 karat alloys.
In addition to the crown and fineness marks, assay marks and date letters are used that provide a great deal of information about a piece.
A Guide to Each Jewellery Hallmark
Since the date letter has become optional but the other three symbols remain compulsory. The symbols give the following information:. This is the unique mark of the company or person responsible for sending the article for hallmarking.
In part this is because gold, silver and even platinum are not generally used in their Today there are also three optional marks: the date mark, pictorial fineness.
First thing I do is look for a Platinum Hallmark. Platinum hallmarking was brought into the UK during as a result of legislation brought about by the Hallmarking Act of If this is the case then a melt and assay would have to be carried out to acquire the actual amount of Platinum held within the piece. A platinum hallmark will have to comply with 3 compulsory and optional stamps. The picture of a ring above shows a typical post Platinum hallmark. The first mark indicates who submitted the item for hallmarking.
Each manufacturer has their own unique stamp. This tells you the precious metal content, expressed in parts per thousand. There are four recognised standards of platinum:. The assay office mark tells you which assay office tested and hallmarked your item. You will see from the ring picture above that the “Cat” head representing London is stamped on it.
Although reputable firms mark their jewelry registering marks is not required. A complete guide to identifying estate jewelry. Jewelry gold hallmarks and makers marks. Have a look at your piece of jewellery. A mark stamped on articles of mainly gold and silver. List of gold maker marks gold silver blog archive jewelry maker mark gold more information find this pin and more on fine jewelry by julia culbertson.
Marks found in watch cases such as hallmarks, sponsor’s mark, date letter, assay Gold and silver watch cases submitted for hallmarking at a British assay For a very quick guide to reading traditional British hallmarks, go to.
Precious metals i. It’s not possible to discover the precious metal content of these alloys just by looking at them. A hallmark is an official mark that guarantees the purity of a metal. But there are some exceptions. A piece can be exempt from the hallmarking regulations if it weighs less than the following:. Hallmarks are made up of 3 compulsory marks. This is the registered mark of the company or person that sends the item for hallmarking.
In the UK, this mark has at least 2 letters, and all marks are unique. This mark shows the precious metal content in the item. It’s recorded in parts per thousand. This means that the number tells you the percentage of precious metal content in the alloy. For example, the fineness mark of 9 carat gold is This tells us that the alloy must have at least parts gold per
Sarasota Antique Buyers are experts and will help identify your Antique Sterling Silver, Gold and other hallmarked antiques. Call us today at Hallmarks encyclopedia. More then 15, silver hallmarks from all over the world. New hallmarks added every day. The history of the hallmark dates back as far , when a statute of Edward I established the assaying test and analysis and marking of precious metals.
Silver Jewelry Hallmarks London Dated Hallmarks Gold. Gold Hallmark Chart 29 Gold Ring Markings Is 9 Carat Actually Harder Than. 29 Gold Ring.
Hallmarking, which has been carried out in the UK for nearly years, represents the earliest form of consumer protection. Hallmarks are small markings stamped on gold, silver and platinum articles. A hallmark means that the article has been independently tested at an Assay Office and guarantees that it conforms to all legal standards of purity fineness. Modifications to the Hallmarking Act, effective from 1 January , have changed the way articles made of precious metal are hallmarked.
A UK Hallmark now comprises three compulsory symbols:. Indicates the maker or sponsor of the article. In Britain, this mark consists of at least two letters within a shield, and no two marks are the same. Indicates the precious metal content of the article, and that it is not less than the fineness indicated. Since , all finenesses are indicated by a millesimal number e.