What you need to know about jewelry hallmarks

Email Print Every collector knows that the quickest way to identify a piece of pottery or porcelain is to identify the mark, but sometimes it’s unreliable because marks are often forged and changed. This is a listing of the better-known marks and backstamps and enough information so that you can learn more about your porcelains. Research and experience will tell you if the color, texture, weight, design, or general “feel” of the piece is right. This will help you identify the mark. The marks are listed according to their shapes. Some marks are made up of letters listed in alphabetical order. Some marks look like a circle, square, bird or animal shape, etc. There are many problems with company names. Obviously, the original name of a German company was in German.

Identifying Marks

The decision was taken to limit the practice of clipping and melting sterling silver coinage which standard was maintained to sterling to make silverware. This behaviour had its origin during the reign of Charles II after the “restoration” , owing to of the largely increased request of fashioned silver for luxury and ostentation purposes note 2. The change of the “standard” required the change of the hallmarks. The “lion passant guardant” denoting sterling standard was replaced with the female figure, commonly called “Britannia”.

Silver Definitions. Pure Silver has a brilliant white metallic luster. It is very ductile and malleable below gold and palladium (one of the platinum metals). Pure Silver, which is at its natural state and is / pure, and, because of it purity, makes it too soft for molding into ever day products.

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. More detailed information about the silver and gold hallmarking in Great Britain and Ireland can be found at the following link http: British and Irish commemorative silver pieces represent a sector of collection very interesting for their historical implications, mainly related to the British monarchy.

The items bearing commemorative hallmarks are often very fine replicas of ancient and historical pieces. Commemorative items have obviously been crafted also before and in this case no dedicated hallmarks can be found on them. The evolution of the hallmarking system followed, although at different times, the English and Scottish ones introduction of the standard hallmark, maker mark, date letter, and duty mark.

5 Easy Clues for Dating Antique or Vintage Jewelry

It is just a small record of my experiences, hunting, researching and playing with silver and silver plate. One of the most frustrating parts of silver collecting it the lack of research data compiled in one place. I hope to correct this. I hope that parts of it can be useful to you.

Dating a piece of Gorham silver is a question of decoding the hallmarks on the back or bottom of each piece. Early Years. Hallmarks on the silver pieces were not consistent in the first few years. In , Gorham silver marks consisted of a lion, anchor.

Lot 19 , Diamond andamp; demantoid garnet pendant-brooch; Center: Lot 32 , Antique diamond, demantoid andamp; silver-topped gold brooch, c. Lot 48 , Edwardian diamond andamp; platinum necklace, c. From contemporary pieces to antiques, jewelry hallmarks are typically found on gold and silver jewelry. A Brief History of Jewelry Marks To be considered an antique, a piece of jewelry must be years or older, while a vintage piece must be 20 years or older.

Retro jewelry refers to pieces made during the s and s and are characterized by the use of large and colorful gemstones. Lot , 3-row coral necklace, silver , c. Jewelry marks in France stretch back even earlier, with examples first seen in the 13th century. Paloma Picasso earrings, 18k yellow gold, Alex Cooper November 4 With antique and vintage pieces, French brand Cartier had to adhere to several guidelines set forth by the French government.

Present-day Cartier jewelry is always engraved with the Cartier logo, along with a serial number specific to that piece only.

Sorry, the page you were looking for can’t be found.

The list consists of designers and maker’s marks that have been difficult to find in reference materials so far. When information is found it will appear with credit given to the person who provided it. Thank you, in advance, for your assistance. US silver companies such as Gorham and Tiffany often used both marks in the late ‘s. Britain never used a standard less than Hence why British silver is sought after pre hundreds.

Converting the Russian marks to sterling values, we obtain the following comparisons in silver purity degree: 84 zol. = / 88 zol. = ,6/ 91 zol. = ,9/ Most of silversmith’s touch marks are in cyrillic alphabet. Here is the Russian cyrillic alphabet and the table of .

Special thanks is given to Shirley Wiesmann who has compiled this data and we hope you will find it helpful. Silver Definitions Pure Silver has a brilliant white metallic luster. It is very ductile and malleable below gold and palladium one of the platinum metals. In order for Pure Silver to be hard enough and suitable for arts and crafts including jewelry, it must be alloyed with other metallic components which helps to make it hard enough and suitable for crafting.

Designers have crafted bead chains, chokers, necklaces, earrings, pendants, rings, bracelets, hair clips, brooches and jewelry sets using Pure Silver and an alloy additive. Products that have been crafted out of Pure Silver with alloys are ecclesiastical of the church and domestic plate, flatware, jewelry, buttons, buckles, boxes, toilet articles to name a few.

Dating gorham silver plate marks. Silver Collector is now Closed.

We are fortunate enough to have obtained a handful of old catalogs and internal documents pertaining to the hallmarksused by the Georg Jensen Silversmithy. The different hallmarks have been used during different period of time, and combined with our knowledge of silver content and the years of which the designers were active all combines to help us determine the age of an item. Some of the documents we have included to the side and below. Silver Content Under the Danish Hallmarking Act of , the content standard for all silver was set at parts out of 1, , which is slightly lower than the standard for sterling which is

This set of hallmarks combines the silver mark with the GI and, unusally enough, the city “COPENHAGEN” The circled GI marking places it between and In this case the silver mark would date it pre, and the city mark was used between

Sheffield Plate is a cheaper substitute for sterling, produced by fusing sheets of silver to the top and bottom of a sheet of copper or base metal. This ‘silver sandwich’ was then worked into finished pieces. At first it was only put on one side and later was on top and bottom. Modern electroplating was invented by Italian chemist Luigi V. Brugnatelli used his colleague Alessandro Volta’s invention of five years earlier, the voltaic pile, to facilitate the first electrodeposition.

Unfortunately, Brugnatelli’s inventions were repressed by the French Academy of Sciences and did not become used in general industry for the following thirty years. Silver plate or electroplate is formed when a thin layer of pure or sterling silver is deposited electrolytically on the surface of a base metal.

How to Identify Reed & Barton Silverplate

I love a good mystery so I will keep trying to find out what I can and post it here. It is thought that this costume jewelry was made during the s and the s. The pin below is an good example of some of the pieces I have seen. Christmas tree pins, gold tone metal, and wire work. Their jewelry is easy to find on the market.

This is a very popular site highly recommended by avid collectors and antique dealers alike. 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.

Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. Wish I would have seen this years ago it would have been helpful. I love collecting beautiful jewelry. I’m not sure what is giving people the impression someone will be appraising their jewelry, or even answering their questions, as nowhere is it even suggested – much less stated – that these services will be provided. The reason you are not getting responses is because you are posting them in a “comments” forum.

The author is asking for your comments on her article: What would you have liked to learn about? Thanks Nick CalvinsStar 5 weeks ago Very helpful information! But, I’m confused about something that is probably under my nose, so to speak.

How to date silver from fineness and assay marks

Marked by the inscription “WMF” or “W. Note the special shape of the “F” letter. The length of “WMF” or “W. One of the earliest WMF marks, used from until around Though quite common, it was never mentioned in literature. The rectangle size is 3.

Antique silver hallmarks attempt to tell the story of who made the piece, when it was made and various other tidbits of information that hold vital interest to collectors and determine the value. Origin of Antique Silver Hallmarks. Originally, marks were stamped into the silver using a hammer and punch for the sole purpose of regulating the.

Distinguishment[ edit ] Hallmarks are often confused with “trademarks” or “maker’s marks”. A hallmark is not the mark of a manufacturer to distinguish his products from other manufacturers’ products: To be a true hallmark, it must be the guarantee of an independent body or authority that the contents are as marked. Thus, a stamp of ‘ ‘ by itself is not, strictly speaking, a hallmark, but is rather an unattested fineness mark.

Prerequisites to hallmarking[ edit ] Many nations require, as a prerequisite to official hallmarking, that the maker or sponsor itself marks upon the item a responsibility mark and a claim of fineness. Responsibility marks are also required in the U. Nevertheless, in nations with an official hallmarking scheme, the hallmark is only applied after the item has been assayed to determine that its purity conforms not only to the standards set down by the law but also with the maker’s claims as to metal content.

Sorry, the page you were looking for can’t be found.

By Kate Miller-Wilson Antique Collector With its gorgeous sheen and spectacular workmanship, antique silver makes a fun and valuable collecting focus. There is a huge variety of silver pieces, from plated tea pots to sterling flatware to dresser sets and other decorative objects. However, there’s also a lot to know about antique silver, and it’s a good idea to educate yourself about this exciting area of antiques.

Hallmarks can also tell you, in some cases, where and when a watch or jewel was made, Maker’s Marks. In countries with an assay system in place, it’s illegal to sell fine jewelry and watches without a hallmark – which is why Tiffany & Co. sends jewelry to London to have it hallmarked.

If jewelry has hallmarks and they appear authentic, identifying its value is a whole lot easier. But many countries — including the U. How does a budding collector begin to unravel this puzzle? Europe, 19th to 21st Centuries , due out in its second printing this month. Yes, especially in the U. Even in the U. As a result, there is nowhere to research the identity of a signature or mark.

You will only find hallmarks on jewelry made in countries that have laws that require independent testing of metal fineness and that document their makers marks with an official stamp — a government stamp or an independent lab stamp — indicating the results of such testing. In most European countries, a secondary system is set up where the assay office tests the pieces and puts their stamps on it to indicate that it was verified by an independent body.

The History of Sterling Silver Makers

Gorham silver used these housemarks in its sterling silver items: Tuttle Silversmiths – Boston, MA: Tuttle Silversmith was bought by Wallace Silversmiths in Robert Wallace is considered the first metalsmith to make a spoon out of German. An extensive reference guide to silver marks , hallmarks , trademarks and.

History of Silver Makers, History of Silverware Makers, Reed and Barton, family owned, Reed & Barton Corporation is one of the oldest silversmiths in the United States, its roots dating back to Over the years, Reed & Barton has evolved into a diversified tabletop company composed of several divisions.

You’ll also be signed up to receive e-newsletters from Antique Trader and partners. It reminds me of offering plates at church. I would appreciate any information you might have on [this] heirloom that I inherited. Pewter is an alloy principally composed of tin but also containing lead, zinc, bismuth, copper, and antimony.

The best quality pewter is that which has a high proportion of tin. Pewter was made and used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese. This mark tells us that this bowl is indeed pewter rather than silver. English silver has a series of at least four hallmarks: Compared to English pewter which may not be marked or it may have anywhere from two to six touch marks.

They may also bear a town mark. Many touch marks are often partially or almost totally worn. This is a result of much use and because pewter is a soft metal. It was not uncommon for pewterers to buy completed unmarked wares wholesale. London pewter was considered to be superior pewter of very high quality, and so the London mark was commonly pirated by provincial pewterers and even by pewterers throughout Europe and in America.

sterling silver hallmarks