Frequently Asked Questions
A hallmark is an official mark struck on items made of precious metals. Hallmarks are a legal requirement on products of a certain weight — depending on the metal being marked. These are incredibly important to us at H. You’ll have seen the term briefly mentioned in many of our guides. Gold and silver are expensive in their pure forms and are too soft to be used for jewellery, so they are mixed with other metals known as alloys, to make them affordable and stronger. Platinum’s density and weight means when combined with other metals it makes it easier to craft. Palladium is rarely used in its purest form, with alloys added it achieves the desired strength and durability. It can be tricky to see the physical difference between metals such as white gold, platinum and palladium, as they can be very similar in colour, but do vary dramatically in price. Anyone can do this, from manufacturers, retailers to hobbyists. The sponsor must register this mark and pay a fee at any of the four offices.
Gold quality stamps and hallmarks have been used for centuries to affirmatively identify the type of gold used in the given jewellery as well as who tested or confirmed the quality of gold involved as well. Eventually, these markings where then modified to identify a given goldsmith involved in the manufacturing as a branding stamp. Why have these marking continued into modern times with all the paperwork available and ability to digitally record data by the millions of records with computers?
We have created the following guide to help you recognise the various gold hallmarks found on gold jewellery pieces from all around the world.
Portuguese Hallmark with Deer and. Solving the intriguing riddle posed by the marks stamped onto a piece of jewelry involves the use of a variety of skills and a wealth of knowledge. At its most basic, we can usually easily identify the type of jewelry i. However, labeling a piece as having originated during a particular era requires an understanding of the style, design attributes, materials available, gemstones and their cutting techniques, manufacturing techniques and a basic knowledge of world politics, events and influences during the time in question.
To take the investigation to the final step of identifying the maker, the country of origin and the circa date of manufacturing requires a more specialized type of jewelry detective work involving all of the aforementioned skills, access to a wealth of research materials and a touch of tenacity. Books specifically listing hallmarks are usually organized by country and further by time period within the country.
Forearmed with the basic jewelry era parameters on the item under investigation helps to target further search efforts. First and foremost it is important to classify the function of the jewelry item. Examining a ring, brooch, bracelet, necklace, etc. Checking to see if the piece has been fundamentally altered is also important. This may make it difficult to identify exactly who made the piece, but the item fundamentally remains a brooch or a ring. This is important to observe when researching the who, what, when and where of jewelry identification… is it a ring or a brooch?
Sometimes the answer is not immediately apparent. Secondly, while you may not be able to pin down an exact date of manufacture, by identifying the style of the piece the time period of the search can be narrowed down considerably.
A Guide to Hallmarks
With the Peterson book now sold out at the publisher although Smokingpipes. Even when the mount is nickel, with a bit of knowing, the collector can usually date his or her pipe to within a five year period. Headset loupes with multiple lenses can usually be had at quite reasonable prices which, with a good light source, are usually all you need. Dealers and pipe smokers unfamiliar with Peterson often confuse the three nickel-mount markings of Shamrock, Wolf Hound and Round Tower with assay marks.
Confused by the hallmarks on your metal jewellery? This guide will help you understand what they are, and what they mean. Gold and silver are expensive in their pure forms and are too soft to be used for jewellery, so they are Date letter: This tells you the year in which the item was tested and hallmarked.
The statute made it the responsibility of the Wardens of the Goldsmiths’ Guild to mark all items of sterling standard with a leopard’s head stamp. Today there are still offices in Edinburgh, where hallmarking has been regulated since the 15th century, and in Birmingham and Sheffield, where assay offices were established by an Act of Parliament in The leopard’s head silver hallmark, which has been used in various forms as the symbol of the London Assay Office since hallmarking began.
Gold Hallmark Chart – List Of Gold Maker Marks Hallmarks Gold Hallmarks Silver
A Maker’s Mark is a unique stamp placed on jewelry and watches to ensure the authenticity of the manufacturer. These stamps are typically made up of the manufacturers initials, name, or another unique representative symbol. Identifying this mark is the first step in determining the value of a piece of jewelry.
Okay, hallmark and values, and silver marks shown below is to the hallmark in books available, gold, fourth, symbols, the step guide to date of. Antique clock.
Purchasing antique gold jewelry can be a challenge. It’s hard to know how old the piece is, what style it is, or what kind of gold went into making the piece? Hallmarks are the signposts on your journey of discovery, but there are lots of side roads you will travel in learning about the marks and their meanings. Hallmarks are used to identify the purity of metals, particularly gold and silver. The marks are stamped into the metal and can tell you both about the metal’s purity and the history of the piece: where it was made, what year, and the manufacturer.
Hallmarks were used to assure the buyer the piece had a certain quality of metal, and to identify who made the jewelry and where. The marks have been used for thousands of years. According to a legend , King Hiero II was concerned that a gold wreath crown he had purchased was not made of the highest quality gold. In fact, he believed it had been mixed with silver.
Tags: antique jewellery , Antique Jewelry , British Hallmarks , dating hallmarked jewelry , English 18th c. Did you recently purchase your first piece of English antique jewelry? Would you like to know what the marks stamped on your jewelry mean? While most of this post is for those new to the English hallmarking system, there is at least one piece of information that I guarantee you will be news to a number of collectors and perhaps even a few dealers, read on to find out.
Hallmarks are small markings stamped on gold, silver and platinum articles. Until , a date letter indicating the year of hallmarking was compulsory. This is.
If you require more help in identifying a gold hallmark, try our gold hallmark identification wizard. Hallmarking also called assay or standard marking is the official quality control mark that determines the purity of gold and other precious metals. Fortunately, modern digital kitchen or postage scales are very accurate, allowing most customers to gain a relatively accurate indication of the weight of their gold. Identifying the type of gold can be a little more tricky, which of course requires us to read and decipher the hallmark stamped on the item.
The first mark we see is the makers mark, telling us who manufactured the item in this instance, H Samuel. The next mark we see is a Crown or Gold Standard Mark. The crown also appears on old 12 and 15 carat gold, however this was stopped in We now come to the mark that tells us the gold fineness purity. This again tells us the item is gold.
The Hallmarking Act stipulates the use of the above symbols to identify the precious metal. This millesimal stamp number tells us the precious metal content. Here is a table of common hallmark fineness stamps:.
Temporary hours: Monday – Closed Tuesday – Friday Close Book. The importance of verifying that something is what it claims to be has always been an issue in the trade of jewellery and precious wares. In part this is because gold, silver and even platinum are not generally used in their pure form to create jewellery or wares. The reason for this is due to both the price of making something in pure precious metal and also the relative softness of using pure precious metal whether it be gold, silver or even platinum.
How to recogonize British hallmarks and UK hallmarks and understand the date and purity of these metals. Tateossian presents your guide to gold, silver.
Want to learn more about the origins of gold and silver hallmarks? The origins of jewellery hallmarking can be traced as far back as A. D when the first standards of gold and silver quality were officially laid down. However, the true beginning of hallmarking as we know it today dates from A. It was at this very early stage that the standard of acceptable fineness for silver was set at Today, jewellery hallmarking, alongside all hallmarking is governed by the Hallmarking Act of This 39 page document outlines the current British legislation covering all items made from precious metal.
UK hallmarking regulations are some of the strictest in the world, and we are one of only a few countries that have compulsory statutory hallmarking.
DATE LETTERS – 1773 TO 2020
Precious metals i. It’s not possible to discover the precious metal content of these alloys just by looking at them. A hallmark is an official mark that guarantees the purity of a metal. But there are some exceptions. A piece can be exempt from the hallmarking regulations if it weighs less than the following:.
In part this is because gold, silver and even platinum are not generally used in their Today there are also three optional marks: the date mark, pictorial fineness.
Since the date letter has become optional but the other three symbols remain compulsory. The symbols give the following information:. 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. This shows the fineness of the metal — ie purity of the precious metal content in parts per in relation to the standard recognised in the UK.
For example parts per by weight is equivalent to the old 18 carat gold standard. The alloy must be at least parts per to be marked as such.