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


FURTHER SWISS MARKS


OTHER EUROPEAN HALLMARKS (under construction)

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