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Identifying Hallmarks for Silver & Gold

July 19, 2020

Identifying Hallmarks for Silver & Gold

All English hallmarks come with a minimum of 3 marks , assay office , date letter and lion on passant. Walking lion means sterling silver (not to be confused with the skinnier Dutch lion) this is an English Trafalgar square type lion.

Dutch silver is normally 800 or 830 grade not 925 sterling as in England. When looking at date letters be careful as many look the same, however use common sense so if you have an Art Noveau item and you look up the date and see it shows 'London 1702' then perhaps use your loupe or magnifier glass and re-look ( or ask for a second opinion).

The assay office will also help you date your item as all date letters are slightly different for each assay office. Makers marks are normally 2 or 3 initials, again once you have the dates identifying the makers becomes easier. Beware I.H means John Higgins not Issac Higgins. Be careful when looking at maker marks same as date letter often about the cartouche ie whether they are in a triangle or diamond etc.

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