Chester Assay Office Historical Date Letters
The hallmarking of silver and gold items has been in operation in the United Kingdom since Since that date it has been a punishable offence to offer for sale any article purporting to be made of a precious metal unless it bears the stamp Hallmark of one of the recognised Assay Offices. Until as recently as , the penalty for counterfeiting the Hallmark was death, It was then changed to 14 years transportation to a penal colony. Now the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment. The most obvious use of the Hallmarking system to Horologists is the ease with which it enables them to date English watches with ease and certainty. A complete Hallmark comprises of up to 6 separate punch marks :- 1. The makers or sponsor’s mark. This usually consists of the initials of the maker of the article or the person sponsor submitting the work for ‘assay’. These initials are usually surrounded by a small shield or border.
The History of UK Hallmarking
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.
History and images of commemorative hallmarks on silver of Great Britain, UK gold and silverware together with the date letter Y, from January to December.
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. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, we offer no guarantees. Please contact us if you have any suggestions on its improvement. While you’re on our site, don’t forget to check out our up-to-date scrap gold prices. If you’re thinking of selling gold, you’ll find our rates are significantly higher than any high street retailer and we don’t charge testing or refining fees. Have a look the symbols below, these identify where the piece of jewellery was assayed.
Select the symbol that appears on your piece of jewellery.
Hallmarks on Period Jewelry
Call us on Dating german silver hallmarks Note: marks and the most of mostly provincial british silver jewelry. British silver hallmarks and silver symbol unique to help date letter stamp. Other towns as a lot of – shop ebay for silver including a manufactory on antique silver hallmarks: hallmarks and date letters on gold. Electroplate marks of purity mark is that all metals falling into the date silver marks from.
Dating English hallmarks helps to you to put a value on gold, platinum and silver products. How to recogonize British hallmarks and UK.
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.
jewelry and metal hallmarks and symbols
A number of hallmarks are struck on silverware crafted in Great Britain and Ireland to certify the fineness of silver lion passant, crowned leopard head, thistle, lion rampant, crowned harp , the place and date of hallmarking Assay Office hallmark and date letter , the payment of the duty on silver to the Royal Crown the sovereign head and the Hibernia.
All these hallmarks are or have been compulsory at least till the turn of last century , with some exceptions for little items approved from time to time. British and Irish commemorative silver pieces represent a sector of collection very interesting for their historical implications, mainly related to the British monarchy.
A typical set of antique British silver hallmarks showing (left to right); rd Mark, Mark, Letter, Mark and ‘s Mark. This particular.
If you require more help in identifying a gold hallmark, try our gold hallmark identification wizard. Hallmarking also called assay or standard marking is the official quality control mark that determines the purity of gold and other precious metals. Fortunately, modern digital kitchen or postage scales are very accurate, allowing most customers to gain a relatively accurate indication of the weight of their gold. Identifying the type of gold can be a little more tricky, which of course requires us to read and decipher the hallmark stamped on the item.
The first mark we see is the makers mark, telling us who manufactured the item in this instance, H Samuel. The next mark we see is a Crown or Gold Standard Mark. The crown also appears on old 12 and 15 carat gold, however this was stopped in We now come to the mark that tells us the gold fineness purity. This again tells us the item is gold.
The Hallmarking Act stipulates the use of the above symbols to identify the precious metal. This millesimal stamp number tells us the precious metal content. Here is a table of common hallmark fineness stamps:. As our gold ring in the photo was made prior to Hallmarking Act , the markings are slightly different, but still easy to understand.
Researching British Hallmarks
The Georgian jewellery period spans from to The Georgian era was a time of huge social change. This trend continued for almost a hundred years. During which the standard of living of the general population rose consistently for the first time in history.
Jul 19, – Dating English hallmarks helps to you to put a value on gold, platinum and silver products. How to recogonize British hallmarks and UK hallmarks.
Precious metals are very soft when in their pure form. Other elements are added to them to create alloys which have improved mechanical properties, making them useful for everyday items such as jewellery and silverware. Usually it is impossible to tell how much of the pure metal is in the alloy by visual appearance, weight or touch.
Hallmarks are marks applied to precious metals to indicate the amount of pure metal in the alloy. Traditionally applied by striking with a punch, hallmarks can now also be applied using lasers. However, the concept of marking precious metals to show their purity predates this by well over a century. This rich history has made hallmarking not only one of the oldest and most successful forms of consumer protection but has also been an invaluable tool in the detection of fakes.
The hallmark has become widely used to add value to items and offers a wide range of marketing possibilities. These days, hallmarking is carried out by assay offices which are situated in many countries over the world, but are most prevalent in Europe, the Middle-East and Asia.
Dating Jewelry – Precious Metal Hallmarks
Have you ever picked up a ring or pendant in an antique shop and wished you knew a bit more about it? With a little prior knowledge, anyone can date and locate their piece of jewellery using hallmarks. Gold, silver, and platinum are the most popular precious metals used in jewellery.
Identify the hallmarks on your gold using our free hallmark identification wizard. While you’re on our site, don’t forget to check out our up-to-date scrap gold prices. If you’re thinking of selling Import mark for the Birmingham Assay Office.
ABOVE: types of jewelers loupes. It will need a bit of practice to get the image clear, and may mean twisting your arms and head to get the magnified vision clear enough to see. Good lighting is a must too. Once you can see your hallmarks, try and work out what they look like. This is the part that takes a lot practice, and can be done in a variety of ways. My advise would to be to firstly figure out the Assay Office stamp.
The most common ones are:. Bradburys Hallmark book has much more info about all British hallmarks, along with detailed images and symbols of all the Assay hallmarks. Say for example, you see an anchor symbol — this is the Assay Office mark for Birmingham. Memorize this as much as possible, and go back to the Birmingham section of your hallmark book and search through the hallmarks, seeing which typeset letter looks like the one on your jewellery.
As a general rule, work backwards from modern times to older.