A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER
AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
THE WHAT IS? SILVER DICTIONARY

EUROPEAN COUNTRIES SILVER AND GOLD HALLMARKS

A silver or gold object that is to be sold commercially is, in most countries, stamped with one or more hallmarks indicating the purity of the metal and the mark of the manufacturer or silversmith
Other marks can indicate the date of manufacture and additional information about the piece.
In some countries, the testing of precious metal objects and marking of purity is controlled by a national assay office.
Depending on the national legislation the use of hallmarks may be compulsory, voluntary or provided by a manufacturer's declaration.
The word "HALLMARK" derives from the fact that, since the 16th century, precious metals were sent to the London Goldsmiths' Hall for testing to ensure that the correct standard of silver had been used. The Goldsmiths' Hall was the headquarters of the Goldsmiths' Company and the home of the Assay Office.
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