British Date Letters Silver

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Pieces essayed in England will bear a sterling mark in the image of a lion passant profile from the side. Russian gold mark, 21k, taken with a 60x photo microscope In Russia, two-digit numbers refer to zolotniks, which convert to thousandths, e. In , all gold marks were standardized, and the crown mark and the fineness in thousandths became the only marks to be used in addition to place of assay and date letter. Since the beginning of British Silver hallmarks, there have been as many as 11 assay offices with the authority to test and mark silver. THE ESSENTIAL POCKET REFERENCE There are so many different hallmarks found on British silver that to know all of them would be impossible. DATE LETTERS The date letter system was introduced in London in elsewhere as the hallmarking system evolved. These hallmarks tell buyers something about the purity of the silver, when the piece was manufactured and who manufactured it. This is why it is important to find the town mark before you try to find the date letter. From to , only gold assayed at 18 and 22 ct was permissible and hallmarked. Though technically they were breaking the law, this interesting quirk of history gives pieces from these locations their own unique history and charm. The sequence of marks on a piece is arbitrary. SAHA" maker's mark , Finnish crown stamp, "H", city mark Vaasa? Unchanged were the required date letter and sponsor's mark. JS; this is the maker, John Smyth of Dublin. In that year and the following year, the head faced left and was debossed rather than embossed. This was a duty mark. Jewelry is exempted from hallmarking under certain circumstances. It is a form of consumer protection, whose origin goes back almost years. Most other European countries also use hallmarks.