Mervyn Mitton

HALLMARKS - GOLD & SILVER FOR U.K.

16 posts in this topic

ID: 1   Posted (edited)

One of the most important things for a collector is information. I have realised over the years that the British system of Hallmarking silver and gold is a mystery to many people - and to find a listing that clearly shows them is not always an easy task.

The British system - at a glance , can tell you the maker - where it was assayed (usually where it was made) - the standard of silver - and the year it was assayed. All of the info. is on the following sheets - which were published by the Assay Offices in U.K. - their addresses are on the last page if you wish to order a copy. They also give gold marks - which are standardised for Europe.

Next time you are browsing the markets have these sheets and a small magnifying glass and you will be surprised how often British silver turns-up - often in the unlikeliest places. (For those interested, I have just listed British Orders of Knighthood - in their correct precedence. This is under British Medals - Order of Knighthood.)

Two important points to remember with silver - British standard, known as 'Sterling' - shown by the Lion Passant - is 925 parts silver, with 75 parts tin. This strengthens the silver. European silver is usually only a standard of 800 parts. However, where they are making for the English or American market , they will use 925 - but, with no hallmarks, they have to stamp it 'sterling'. American silver also uses the word 'sterling'

Edited by Mervyn Mitton

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This is EXTREMELY useful information-- will permanently "pin" it in here as the genral "Research" reference sub-forum. I've been looking for this for ages myself! :cheers:

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Have just added a para. to explain the difference with Continental and U.S. silver.

(In case the first page is not big enough to read, I am repeating it here.)

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ID: 10   Posted (edited)

I bought just such a book a few years back in an antique shop and used it when searching for a bargain Great War hallmarked trench watch and eventually came up trumps - 35 € for a 1917 hallmarked watch in good working order which I wear daily except for at work.

This site may also be of interest, it includes many hallmarks used worldwide http://www.925-1000.com/index.html

Tony

Edited by Tony

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ID: 11   Posted (edited)

To emphasise just how important such a reference book can be, I've just checked the marks on my watch.

Import mark for Birmingham with GS stamp (George Stockwell was a registered importer from 1907), 925 and the letter stamp 's' which is for 1913 and not 1917 as I stated above.

Tony

Edited by Tony

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Hi,

here some links:

http://www.silvercollection.it/hallmarks.html

http://www.925-1000.com/Fgerman_marks_a1884.html

Best regards, :cheers:

Jens

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I have a post 1902 Suffolk Regiment officers Kings Crown cap badge, solid die struck & stamped "STERLING" - so this means that it is european as oppsed to UK made Merv, or could it be UK made to european standrds rather than British hallmark?

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I have a post 1902 Suffolk Regiment officers Kings Crown cap badge, solid die struck & stamped "STERLING" - so this means that it is european as oppsed to UK made Merv, or could it be UK made to european standrds rather than British hallmark?

Small items did not have to be Hall Marked, they could be sold as "White metal" not described as silver. The mark Sterling has the conertation of being silver of .925 standard, thus it was identified.

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Hi - Leigh. Yes, as War Lord comments, they did for bulk items , sometimes, try to dodge paying the hallmark charges. However, as you will know, most badges of the period are hallmarked.

I would like to comment on reference books - if you are a silver collector or, have an interest in old hallmarks - then you need a good ref. book. I find Jackson's Hallmarks (isbn 1 85149 169 4) to be excellent, since it identifies the dealers marks. Whilst there have been many assay offices and marks, most are for the serious collector. The ones I showed above will help for the those items you most commonly come across. Also, remember that Govt. issue do not have to be hallmarked. Many British Medals are 1oz. of sterling silver and even if in very poor condition are worth money - at this date 1oz. is worth approx. £5 (31 gms - $8). It is worth keeping a list of those that were issued in silver. (WW2 Br. issue - also Aust. NZ, and Sth. Africa - apart from the Africa Medal - were coin metal - cupro-nickel.)

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Very interesting book. Thank you for posting.

Also, very usefull links. Thank you. :beer:

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