Dating english silver from hallmark

Simply flick through the book, looking at the top of the tables of marks to remind yourself if you forget.If you can't see any of these 5 marks, the chances are that the item is either not British or is silverplated.

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Again, you don’t need to memorise these marks, just flick through Bradburys to find them.

The duty mark was only struck in certain years and when found, will take the form of either a King or Queen’s head, depending on who was on the throne at the time. To the collector, the main importance of this mark is that it helps you find the date letter.

Antique silver hallmarks have been used to control the quality of goods made of silver since the 14th century and the organisation that regulates the craft, Goldsmiths Hall, gave the world the term hallmark.

This is to ensure it is of the required sterling silver standard and, provided it conforms to a standard, a series of symbols are stamped into each part of the item.

The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices.