Jump to content

Recommended Posts

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
Link to post
Share on other sites

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
Link to post
Share on other sites

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
Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest WAR LORD

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.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Blog Comments

    • I've never smoked a single cigarette in my 62 years so I can't compare, but I can say that I like Lapsang Souchong tea, having tasted it the first time when I was 16, and a sea cadet. I'm not a Brit, though.
    • Lapsang Souchong, when i first tasted this I thought it was like stale cigarette ends...it's an acquired taste for sure.  
    • I like my tea strong enough for my spoon to stand up in. My father got me into it. When my father was at RAF Dum Dum 1943-47 most of his fellow officers drank ice cold drinks to mitigate  the heat, his Sikh batman warned him against it and said that strong hot tea would cool him down, most certainly did. So years later in the UK when everybody else was drinking iced drinks on a baking day the wood family was inbibing copious quantities of hot strong brews of Assam's finest. P
    • Hi ccj, Thanks for your comments. Funny how, for me at least, coffee has become a habit more than a conscience choice. It's the old, "Well if you having one (coffee) pour me as well". When I get together with my son-in-law, a former Brit, it's tea all the way. Thanks again. Regards Brian  
    • I live and grew up in the south (USA) and the drink of choice 7 days a week was cold sweet tea. I was unaware Lipton was British because that’s what most southern use for brewing tea. When I joined the army I learned most people in the north and western parts of the USA drank unsweetened tea and that was perplexing to my young brain. Now days I can’t stand sweet iced tea but it’s still the most common drink in the south, but, you can get unsweetened ice tea in the south. Im familiar with ho
×
×
  • Create New...