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

EUROPEAN COUNTRIES SILVER AND GOLD HALLMARKS
GERMANY
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
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.
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 German hallmarking system is organized on a compulsory base.

GERMAN HALLMARKS

Since 1888 Germany uses uniform marks for silver and gold.
These marks are the "Crescent and crown" (Halbmond und Reichskrone) for silver and the "Sun and Crown" (Sonne und Reichskrone) for gold.
In addition the fine content and maker's marks are used.
Minimum silver fineness is 800/1000, but 830, 835, 900, 925 and 935 purities are also used.
This system is now used for cutlery, plates or other silverware. In the area of silver jewellery only the silver content mark is more often used.


METAL FINENESS MARK

SILVER
German  silver marks: Crescent and crown (Halbmond und Reichskrone)
"Crescent and crown" (Halbmond und Reichskrone)
silver fineness 800/1000, 830/1000, 835/1000, 900/1000, 925 and 935/1000
German  marks: silver fineness 800/1000 German  marks: silver fineness 830/1000 German  marks: silver fineness 835/1000 German  marks: silver fineness 925/1000 German  marks: silver fineness 935/1000


GOLD
German gold marks: Sun and Crown (Sonne und Reichskrone)
"Sun and Crown" (Sonne und Reichskrone)
German  marks: gold
Official announcement page January 10, 1886
Official announcement page January 10, 1886

FURTHER GERMAN MARKS


OTHER EUROPEAN HALLMARKS (under construction)

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This is a page of 'The What is? Silver Dictionary' of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu, a 1500 pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, Sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths (Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington), history, oddities ...
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