EGYPT SILVER HALLMARKS
EGYPTIAN MARKS FROM 19TH CENTURY TO PRESENT

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The Ottoman Empire conquered Egypt in 1517. France occupied the country from 1798 to 1891, after which it reverted to Turkish rule. Britain took over the administration in 1882, seizing the country at the outbreak of WWI. It became independent in 1922.

The first hallmarks were introduced by Turkey in 1575 but the first "modern" marks were adopted in the 19th century. In this period three laws were passed regarding hallmarking in Egypt:
1. In 1847 a law known as the Gashanjy Law was passed during the reign of Khedive Abbas I. This regulated the standards of gold and silver, and indicated how metals should be marked. It appears, however, that it did not make marking compulsory.
2. In the reign of Khedive Abbas Helmy II (1892-1914) a second law was passed that regulated the hallmarking process, and stipulated standards in gold and silver. The silver standards were, respectively, .900/.800/.600/.450. Unfortunately, isn't known the actual year in which the act was enacted and brought into force.
3. In the reign of Sultan Hussein Kamel (1914-1917) a third law was passed "which prohibited the buying and selling of any precious metals that were not stamped by the Egyptian assay office". Hence it seems that it is only from the time of the third law that marking became compulsory. Unfortunately, it's uncertain the actual year in which this law was enacted and brought into force (possibly 1916). In this period the .450 standard was abolished.


The ancient Turkish 'tughra' mark used before adoption of Egyptian marking
The ancient Turkish tughra mark used before adoption of Egyptian marking

The lion mark and the the assay office mark with silver fineness in use before 1916 silver fineness and Beni Souef town mark in use before 1916 silver fineness and Cairo town mark in use before 1916 silver fineness and Cairo town mark in use before 1916
The lion mark and the assay office mark with silver fineness in use before 1916. The "lion" mark (similar to English "lion passant") was abolished under British rule. Before 1916 the town is shown below the numerical fineness


In 1916 was introduced a marking system with date letters, similar to British model.
The mark consisted of the "standing cat facing left with raised tail into a square with cut-corners frame". The gold hallmark (Ibis) was occasionally used for silver (c.1920)
In October 1946, the silver mark was changed to the "lotus flower blossom" (papyrus according to Miller's).
Egypt silver mark 1916-1966 Egypt silver mark 1916-1966 Egypt silver mark 1916-1966 Egypt: Ibis gold  hallmark occasionally used for silver (c.1920)


town and silver fineness (in two Hindu-Arabic numerals under the town name)
Egypt silver town mark Alexandria Egypt silver town mark Assiut Egypt silver town mark Beni Souef Egypt silver town mark Cairo Egypt silver town mark Al-Mansura Egypt silver town mark Qena Egypt silver town mark Tanta Egypt silver town mark Zagzig

Egypt silver town mark Egypt silver town mark Egypt silver town mark Egypt silver town mark


and date letter (in Latin characters, until 1940). The first was a capital letter "R" (as Birmingham in UK).

Egypt silver mark 1924-1925 Egypt silver mark 1929-1930 Egypt silver mark 1930-1931 Egypt silver mark 1931-1932 Egypt silver mark 1933-1934
Date letters marks used in Egypt from 1916 to 1940 Date letters marks used in Egypt from 1916 to 1940 Date letters marks used in Egypt from 1916 to 1940


From 1941 the Latin characters have been replaced by Arabic characters.

Egypt silver 'cat' mark 1941-1966: date 1942-1941 Egypt silver 'cat' mark 1941-1966: date 1944-1943 Egypt silver 'cat' mark 1941-1966: date 1948-1947 Egypt silver 'cat' mark 1941-1966: date 1949-1948 Egypt silver 'papyrus' mark 1941-1966
Egypt silver date letter mark 1941-1966


From 1966 the "cat" and the "lotus" marks have been replaced by the "lotus with dots on the sides". Corresponding dots were added to the date letters. According to a source, when the war between Egypt and Israel occurred in 1967, Egypt stopped until 1974 importing from England the steel pens used to trace hallmarks on jewelry in order to conserve their reserves of foreign currency.
Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark: Cairo Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark: Alexandria Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark: Keneh Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark: Tanta Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark: Beni Souef
Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark 90/100 fineness Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark 90/100 fineness Egypt silver mark 600/1000 fineness, date 1 September 1982 Egypt silver mark 800/1000 fineness, date 1985 Egypt silver mark 800/1000 fineness, date 1 September 1994 Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark 800/1000 fineness Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark 900/1000 fineness Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark 900/1000 fineness, date 1982 Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark 900/1000 fineness Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark 900/1000 fineness, date 1992 Egypt silver papyrus mark: October 1989/June1992 900/1000 fineness Egypt silver papyrus with dots mark 900/1000 fineness
Egypt silver date marks after 1966 Egypt silver date marks after 1966


Originally the silver fineness was indicated in hundredths (two digits: 60, 80 and 90), later (possibly after 1975) silver fineness was expressed in thousandths (three digits: 600, 800 and 900)
Egypt silver finess expresse in hundredths Egypt silver fineness 80 Egypt silver fineness 90 Egypt silver fineness 600 Egypt silver fineness 800 Egypt silver fineness 900



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

EUROPEAN HALLMARKS (under construction)      and HALLMARKING CONVENTION

AUSTRIA     BELGIUM     CYPRUS     CZECHIA/CZECH REPUBLIC     DENMARK     ESTONIA    FINLAND     FRANCE     GERMANY     GREECE     HUNGARY     IRELAND     ITALY     LATVIA     LITHUANIA     LUXEMBOURG     MALTA     THE NETHERLANDS     NORWAY     POLAND     PORTUGAL     ROMANIA     SLOVAKIA     SLOVENIA     SPAIN     SWEDEN     SWITZERLAND     UNITED KINGDOM

This is a page 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, WMF, Reed & Barton, Mappin & Webb, Bateman Family), history, oddities ...
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