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

SILVER HALLMARKS WORLDWIDE OVERVIEW worldwide hallmarks overview

SCOTLAND - SOUTH AFRICA - SPAIN - SRI LANKA (CEYLON) - SWEDEN - SWITZERLAND - UNITED KINGDOM - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The word "HALLMARK" derives from the fact that precious metals were sent to the London Goldsmiths' Hall for testing to ensure that the correct standard of silver had been used.
In most countries, silver objects are 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.
This page presents a general overview on a series of national hallmarking systems. More detailed information and further hallmarks are available following the respective links.



COUNTRY:    A-B      C-F      G-L      M-R      S-Z

SCOTLAND
George & Alexander Booth  mark, c. 1825-1850 (courtesy Robert Massart)

SCOTTISH PROVINCIAL PAGE



SOUTH AFRICA
CAPE COLONY
Cape Colony: Johannes Martinus Lotter 1 Cape Colony: William Moore 2 Cape Colony: Thomas Stephenson 3 Cape Colony: Martinus Lourens Smith 4 Cape Colony: Frederik Waldek 5
1: Johannes Martinus Lotter     2: William Moore     3: Thomas Stephenson     4: Martinus Lourens Smith     5: Frederik Waldek

CAPE COLONY MARKS PAGES

SOUTH AFRICA: 20TH CENTURY
South Africa: voluntary hallmark 1949 1 South Africa: voluntary hallmark 1949 2 South Africa: voluntary hallmark 1949 3 South Africa: mark of origin from 2013 (ZA= South Africa) 4
1: voluntary hallmark 1949     2: voluntary hallmark 1949     3: voluntary hallmark 1949     4: mark of origin from 2013 (ZA= South Africa)

SOUTH AFRICAN MARKS OF 20TH CENTURY PAGE



SPAIN
In 1934 the Spanish hallmarking system was organized on three types of marks:
- fineness mark, in the form of a "five-point star" for 915/1000 purity (plata de ley) and a "six-point comet" for 750/1000 purity (plata de segunda)
- maker's mark in a hexagonal contour
- assay office code, as a letter code stamped in the fineness mark star (this code was rarely used)
Spain: .915 fineness mark after 1934 Spain: .750 fineness mark after 1934
left: .915 fineness after 1934     right: .750 fineness after 1934

Spain: .915 fineness after 1934 1 Spain:  .915 mark fineness mark after 1934  with Barcelona Assay Office letter (B) 2 Spain: .750 fineness mark after 1934 3
1: .915 fineness mark after 1934     2: .915 fineness mark after 1934 with Barcelona Assay Office letter (B)     3: .750 fineness after 1934

ANCIENT MARKS
Spain: silversmith Antonio Castejon, Cordoba, 1836, assayer Marcial De La Torre 1 Spain: Madrid, 19th century 2 Spain: Palma de Mallorca, 19th century 3 Spain: Madrid, 19th century 4
1: silversmith Antonio Castejon, Cordoba, 1836, assayer Marcial De La Torre     2: Madrid, 19th century     3: Palma de Mallorca, 19th century     4: Madrid, 19th century

SPAIN ANCIENT MARKS PAGE

SPAIN MARKS PAGE



SRI LANKA (CEYLON)
The country obtained independence in 1948. Silver manufactured in the mid-20th century is marked with a stylized lion holding a sword.
Sri Lanka, mid-20th century silver mark
Present silver is marked with the Assay Office Mark and the Silver standard mark. The legal standards are .999, .925 and .800.
present Sri Lanka silver marks



SWEDEN
The present form of National Control Mark started in 1901 consisting of the three crowns of the Swedish coat of arms in a trefoil shape, the hexagonal frame with"S" indicating the minimum silver standard of .800, the town, the date code and the maker's mark.
Switzerland: silver hallmarks 1881-1933

SWEDISH MARKS PAGE AND DIRECTORY OF MAKERS



SWITZERLAND
1881 - 1995
Until 1881 there was no uniform system of hallmarking in Switzerland. Before that time, hallmarking was undertaken at the local level by the Swiss cantons. With the introduction of the Swiss system of hallmarking in 1881, there was uniformity throughout the nation.
Switzerland: silver hallmarks 1881-1933 1 Switzerland: silver hallmarks 1933-1995 2
1: silver hallmarks 1881-1933     2: silver hallmarks 1933-1995

SWISS MARKS 1881-1995 PAGE

SWITZERLAND PRESENT MARKS PAGE



UNITED KINGDOM

London town mark    Sheffield town mark    Birmingham town mark    Newcastle town mark    Dublin town mark    Edinburgh town mark    Glasgow town mark
UK HALLMARKING SYSTEM PAGE

Birmingham Assay Office mark Edinburgh Assay Office mark London Assay Office mark Sheffield Assay Office mark
UK PRESENT MARKS PAGE

HOW TO READ ENGLISH SILVER MARKS


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The identification and dating of American silver presents problems because, unlike England and other countries, no official stamps or date letters were used. Nor was there ever established a guild hall for keeping records. Therefore, it is only through the identification of maker's marks and trademarks that the names of silversmiths and manufacturers can be traced.
USA: Tiffany & Co mark USA: Gorham Mfg Co mark USA: International Silver Co mark USA: Whiting Mfg Co mark

AMERICAN MAKER'S MARKS PAGES



COUNTRY:    A-B      C-F      G-L      M-R      S-Z




English home page
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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