English silver marks: the guide to hallmarks of London.

Hallmarks. Silver hallmarks in the UK date back to the medieval period and the practice of applying them as a guarantee of the purity of the precious metal represents Britain’s oldest form of consumer protection. Roland Arkell; Share: You have 2 more free articles remaining Subscribe for full access. History of silver hallmarks. It was Edward I (1272-1307) who first passed a statute.

The Assay Office marks for gold would be in a Square shield with chamfered corners and in a blunt oval for silver. Import Marks from 1999 Following a ruling of the European Court of Justice the UK is required to accept national hallmarks of member states who provide an equivalent guarantee.

Anatomy of a Hallmark - Assay Office.

These are marks that are struck to commemorate a special event, and are applied as the last mark in the hallmark sequence. The most recent mark was for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, as pictured. Whenever there is a new commemorative mark, we will be sure to tell you about it. Image, top to bottom.A British hallmark is a legal mark that is punched or moulded into items manufactured using precious metals. The precious metal indicated will be a noble metal; either gold, silver, platinum or palladium. The marks identify the type and proportion of precious metal used in manufactured items, including jewellery, antique silver and objects.Birmingham Assay Office was founded in 1773 to provide assaying (testing) and hallmarking of precious metal items (gold, silver, platinum and palladium) as required by the Hallmarking Act. It has been a centre of expert opinion and independent assessment of jewellery and precious metals for nearly 250 years.


The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last 500 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.In 1544 the leopard's head mark was adopted as the mark of the London Assay Office. A letter mark coinciding with the date of assay was first introduced in London in 1477. Originally it signified the Assay Master responsible for testing and marking the silver.

How to date silver from fineness and assay marks Silver, gold, and platinum have assay and fineness marks stamped on each article. The Fineness mark is a representation of the assayed purity of the metal. The Assay mark defines at which office the metal was checked for its purity.

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Originally, only silver produced within twenty miles of Sheffield could be marked at the office. From 1784, Sheffield was empowered to keep a register of all makers marks within one hundred miles. Until 1974, the mark of origin on silver was the Crown.

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The hallmarking of British silver is based on a combination of marks that makes possible the identification of the origin and the age of each silver piece manufactured or traded in the UK. The marks are: Town mark, corresponding to the mark of the Assay Office that has verified the piece. Lion passant guardant or Britannia or lion's head erased, certifiying the silver quality. Maker's mark.

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The sponsor's mark, fineness mark and the assay office mark are compulsory marks. The crown on gold, the lion passant for 925 silver, the Britannia mark for 958 silver and the orb for 950 platinum and the date letter in all cases are voluntary additional marks.

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Exeter Hallmarks. The Exeter assay office was established by Act of Parliament in 1701. It became the assay office of choice for the goldsmiths and silversmiths, not only of Exeter itself, but also other parts of Devon and the neighbouring counties of Dorset, Somerset and Cornwall. The Exeter town mark is based on the arms of the city, being variations on a triple-towered castle. The first.

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COMPULSORY MARKS The Sponsor's Mark. This is the unique mark of the company or person responsible for sending the article for hallmarking. The sponsor may be the manufacturer, importer, wholesaler, retailer or an individual. To obtain a sponsor’s mark you must register with an assay office. The Standard Mark.

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Decode the hallmarks on British Silver and discover the age of your silver. How to clean silver. Learn how to maintain the elegant, soft lustre of hand polished silver. Sterling Silver. 92.5% silver by weight - The legal standard for silver items since 1238. Britannia Silver. 95.84% silver by weight - The standard for silver items from 1697 to 1720. Silver Plate. Made by electroplating silver.

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Consists of a series of marks applied to articles of the precious metals platinum, gold, palladium and silver; Means that the article has been independently tested; Guarantees that it conforms to all legal standards of purity (fineness) Guarantees provenance by telling us, as a minimum legal requirement, where the piece was hallmarked, what the article is made from, and who sent the article.

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Silver hallmarks are said to be struck because of the way they are applied. Markers use a simple hammer and punch that creates a very distinct and sharp image when done properly. However, striking a hallmark can lead to sharp edges and metal spurs, so marking is traditionally done before a piece is polished in preparation for sale. The striking and polishing create a visually stunning image.

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The quality of our services, the quality of our support, and quality of our hallmarking sets us apart. Whether you prefer traditional struck marking, or the latest laser marking techniques, we provide a service of the highest standard. Manage your hallmarking online; Four service levels - from a fast 60 minutes to a guaranteed 5 day turnaround; Three convenient London locations.

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