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

EUROPEAN COUNTRIES SILVER AND GOLD HALLMARKS
SWITZERLAND
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 Swiss hallmarking system is organized on a compulsory base.

SWISS HALLMARKS
(AFTER 1995)

From 1995 the Swiss hallmarking system consists of:
Official National Hallmark (guarantee stamp)
Assay Office mark
Distinctive symbols of the Assay Offices
Assayer's mark of the Assay Offices
The Official National Hallmark, applied by the Assay Office, is compulsory for watch-cases and optional for other silverware.
In addition, the Sponsor's mark and the Standard fineness mark (millesimal) are applied by the manufacturer,

OFFICIAL NATIONAL HALLMARK
Switzerland silver hallmarks: official national hallmark
The official national hallmark (head of a St. Bernard dog) bears the distinctive
symbol of the Assay Office, which is positioned at the spot marked with an X.

ASSAY OFFICE MARK
Switzerland silver hallmarks: Assay Office Mark
The mark bears the distinctive symbol of the Assay
Office, which is positioned at the spot marked with an X.

ASSAY OFFICE SYMBOLS
Switzerland silver hallmarks: Assay Office Symbols

ASSAYER MARK
(examples)
Switzerland silver hallmarks: Assayer Mark

LEGAL STANDARD OF FINENESS
SILVER: 800    925    999
GOLD: 375    585    750    916    999
PLATINUM: 850    900    950    999
PALLADIUM: 500    950    999


HALLMARKING CONVENTION

Switzerland is from 1975 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.
Switzerland Common Control Mark (CCM)


FURTHER SWISS MARKS


worldwide hallmarks overview WORLD HALLMARKS OVERVIEW    A-B      C-F      G-L      M-R      S-Z   
SILVER FINENESS NUMBERS

OTHER EUROPEAN HALLMARKS (under construction)      and HALLMARKING CONVENTION

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