Hallmarks are one of the most important factors in identifying antique silver jewelry, flatware, and other items. These small stamped symbols on the back or underside of silver items can tell you the purity of the silver, the manufacturer of the piece, and sometimes even the date it was made. Understanding how to read hallmarks is an important skill for any antiques enthusiast. If you have a piece of silver jewelry or a household item you'd like to identify, there's a process that can help. Follow these steps to learn about your item. Make sure you can clearly see the mark.
ENGLISH SILVER MARKS
Full List of Irish Silver Date Letters - Weldon's of Dublin Blog
Our illustrated guide highlights the subtle ways you can discover the origins of any piece of silver. One of the most common inquiries at antique shows often has to do with authenticity: How do you know whether or not something is made of real silver? Collectors aren't always looking for pure sterling silver , per se, but they should be able to know the value and composition of the pieces they're buying. Most of the time, you can find the information you're looking for by simply taking a closer look at the teaspoon , fish fork, ice cream saw, or cheese scoup that you're eyeing. More often than not, you can find an indented mark or a series of marks that can tell you a lot about the item: what it's made of, where it was made, when, and by whom. You can find many different kinds of silver in the marketplace today. Some of the oldest American silver is "coin," which contains at least
Case Marks: Marks in Watch Cases
The firm's chief product was silver spoons although they also made thimbles, combs, jewelry, and other small items. In , a tariff which effectively blocked the importation of silverware from outside the United States was passed, which served as an impetous to the American silver industry. Jabez Gorham did not take full advantage of this opportunity, but in Jabez retired and his son, John Gorham, succeeded him as head of the company.
Precious metals are very soft when in their pure form. Other elements are added to them to create alloys which have improved mechanical properties, making them useful for everyday items such as jewellery and silverware. Usually it is impossible to tell how much of the pure metal is in the alloy by visual appearance, weight or touch. Hallmarks are marks applied to precious metals to indicate the amount of pure metal in the alloy. Traditionally applied by striking with a punch, hallmarks can now also be applied using lasers.