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
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.
Russian hallmarks were used in Latvia from 1840 to 1918 and from 1946 to 1990
From 1922 to 1939 was used a slightly rounded corners rectangular mark containing a head with the Latvian crown and the silver fineness (875 or 916).
1: Russian/Latvian mark - unidentified PJS St. Petersburg silversmith 2: Bernhard Bergholtz (Riga) 3: Oskar Vük (Riga) 4: unidentified maker 5: unidentified maker 5: unidentified maker
A slightly different mark was used for imported items
A similar mark was reinstated in 1990 after independence from Soviet Union.
The present Latvian hallmarking system is organized on a voluntary base.
next to the figure the corresponding number for 960 - 925 - 916 - 875 - 830 - 800 - 750 silver fineness
next to the figure the corresponding number for 958 - 916 - 900 - 750 - 585 - 583 - 500 - 375 - 333 gold fineness
next to the figure the corresponding number for 950 - 850 platinum fineness
next to the figure the corresponding number for 850 - 500 palladium fineness
Latvia is from 2004 a country member of the Convention on the Control and Marking of Articles of Precious Metals, an international treaty between States on the cross border trade in precious metal articles. It was signed in Vienna in November 1972 and entered into force in 1975.
The Convention's Common Control Mark (CCM) has the same legal status as a national Assay Office mark. The CCM is applied by national Assay Offices to articles of platinum, gold, palladium and silver after the fineness of the alloy has been checked in accordance with agreed testing methods.
Articles bearing the CCM - together with the national Assay Office Mark, the responsibility mark (manufacturer or sponsor) and the fineness mark indicating its purity - do not have to be re-controlled or re-marked in the states members of the Convention.
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