Confusing Marks on Sterling Silver and Silver Plate

Silver Makers Marks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many new comers to the world of collecting Silver often become confused with the large variety of markings on Silver Items. The new collector should focus first on trying to identify whether the item is in fact a Silver Item. Since the 16th century there have been various methods of coating a base metal with Silver or Gold. The first being Mercury or fire plating where a base metal was heated in a furnace and a solution of mercury and silver was applied and the item re heated. The Mercury evaporated and left the Silver coating. There followed other methods such as coating an object with tin and then a thin film of silver was laid onto the top of the tin. This was heated to a exact temperature until the tin fused with the silver. This was referred to as Close Plating.

LAPADA Guide to Reading British Silver Hallmarks

Throughout the nineteenth century and still today , every British-made silver object offered for sale was required to bear four marks struck into the metal in a conspicuous place. One, the sterling mark, showed that the piece had been tested at the assay office and found to have met the standard of purity for sterling Smaller centers used other sterling marks, such as a thistle in Edinburgh and a harp crowned in Dublin. A third mark was the date mark, a letter of the alphabet used for the twelve-month period during which the piece was assayed.

Throughout the nineteenth century (and still today), every British-made silver object offered for A third mark was the date mark, a letter of the alphabet used for the English Goldsmiths and Their Marks: A History of the Goldsmiths and Plate.

Diane is a lover of all things beautiful; music, art, antiques and nature. Her guides bring insight to topics she cares passionately about. British sterling silver hallmarks help to identify the maker and year of manufacture of sterling silver items produced by Great Britain. Understanding and learning to recognize these marks can help you avoid costly mistakes in both the purchase and sale of antique English silver.

This guide will explain what each mark means and how to find them on a piece of antique British sterling silver. I’ve been buying and selling antique silver for many years now. When I first started going to estate sales, I was always drawn to the silver gleaming on the tables. I didn’t know what the marks meant, but I was determined to find out. Thus began my education and passion for silver. I found great resources online, bought out of print books on the subject and picked the brains of antique dealers I met.

The knowledge I have gained has helped me score some big finds over the years. The estate salespeople often miss these sterling treasures and sell them cheap, not realizing their great value. Learning to recognize these marks will help you to find treasures too, maybe even in your own home.

How to Identify and Determine the Value of your Silver

English silver has, for hundreds of years, been accepted as the finest in the world. We can thank both the unique system of Hallmarks and the jealous and zealous traditions of the Guild of Goldsmiths. The insignia of the town or city in which the test was made. A letter of the alphabet is used to illustrate a given year, thus representing the date.

Britannia metal, iron, steel, copper alloys and silver-plated goods) the dating of a particular piece may have to be Birmingham, England and New York,. N.Y.

I have several older pieces of silver; trays, plate, silverware, and am having trouble finding ways to identify them. I would like to start with 2 items and hope I can get pics up. This small silver tray is a EPC piece but the other markings I cannot find. There is a bearded man, crown and what looks like a fancy g with a slash through the middle, then the number Can you tell me what this all means.

Also, how would one get the black marks out of the center of the tray? Hi there Jewels, and thanks for joining us. A picture is worth 1, words, so perhaps someone more computer literate than me will give you some help on sizing your pictures. American silver plate marks are hard to decipher because there were so many makers of silver plated goods dating from the s, and of course no uniform system of marking any American silver, sterling or plated.

As a general rule, American sterling silver. The electro plated silver is very thin, so be gentle as you work with the tarnish.

Dating mappin and webb silver plate

EPC stands for electroplated copper. Though the term EPC refers to electroplating, the technique used to create Sheffield pieces was mainly mechanical and chemical. Early Sheffield plate is notoriously difficult to date because there was no legal requirement to hallmark an item until , according to Bryan Douglas Silver. Flip your silver item over and look around the surface for a hallmark. Instead it is likely silver-plated nickel from the 19th century or later.

A silver object that is to be sold commercially is, in most countries, stamped with one or more silver hallmarks indicating the purity of the silver, the mark of the manufacturer or silversmith, and other (optional) markings to indicate date of manufacture and additional prevent British sterling silver coins from being melted to make silver plate.

Silver Dictionary’ of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu , a 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 This makes difficult the research of information for inexperienced people.

The objective of this page is to help the visitors of the site in deciphering the marks of their British silverplate. A set of symbols imitating the shape of sterling silver hallmarking. These are “generic marks ” used by various silverplate makers. In this case the “S” stands for “Sons”. In this case the “S” stands for “Sheffield”.

ELKINGTON ELECTROPLATE SILVER AND SILVER PLATE

See also the definitions page in this guide for additional information on hallmark components. Note at centre of the image at right the four elements of the hallmark. Detailed image of hallmark far right. Locate the assay office.

The term ‘hallmark’ dates back to From this time, English silver was required to be at least % silver and % other metals. Silver plate hallmarks.

Bring it to Dr. Sheffield silver plate was invented by accident by Thomas Boulsover in the mid s. He was making a repair to a silver object and realized that he could fuse two metals together. Boulsover discovered that silver and copper could transform into a sheet that could be fashioned into objects that look like sterling silver. Thin silver sheets were fused together with a thicker sheet of copper and Sheffield silver plate was born.

By the end of the s, many Sheffield silver plate objects were being produced for members of the upper and middle classes. The traits of Sheffield silver plate were strength, durability, and good looks. Antique Sheffield silver plate objects such as snuff boxes, trays, tea sets, coat buttons, candlesticks, patch boxes, etc. Today, like sterling silver and pewter collectibles , Sheffield silver plate remains popular with collectors. Values range widely with some pieces commanding several thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.

Marks of prominent makers are visible on pieces of Sheffield silver plate. Settle among others. Some Sheffield silver plate makers also added quality marks on their pieces too.

English Silver Makers Marks

To ensure you the best experience, we use cookies on our website for technical, analytical and marketing purposes. By continuing to browse our site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. It was Edward I who first passed a statute requiring all silver to be of sterling standard — a purity of parts per thousand — ushering in a testing or assay system that has survived for over years.

Silver hallmarks in the UK date back to the medieval period and the practice of Ireland and Scotland seldom sent their plate to Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dublin.

Our illustrated guide highlights the subtle ways you can discover the origins of any piece of silver. One of the most common inquiries at antique shows often has to do with authenticity: How do you know whether or not something is made of real silver? Collectors aren’t always looking for pure sterling silver , per se, but they should be able to know the value and composition of the pieces they’re buying. Most of the time, you can find the information you’re looking for by simply taking a closer look at the teaspoon , fish fork, ice cream saw, or cheese scoup that you’re eyeing.

More often than not, you can find an indented mark or a series of marks that can tell you a lot about the item: what it’s made of, where it was made, when, and by whom. You can find many different kinds of silver in the marketplace today. Some of the oldest American silver is “coin,” which contains at least Mint after the American Revolution-which rose to 90 percent in the years after

Dating walker hall silver plate

These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only. You can reduce the number of items displayed by entering a keyword that must be included in the description of the item. Hallmarked Birmingham Length 15 cm. Good Elkington silver plate inkstand standish embossed decoration, with 2 silver plate lidded inkwells, and central classic decoration, marked to base, circa , some wear to plate, length 30 cm.

Birks’ earliest production included hollowware and flatware in a few English to mark their sterling silver with a date letter that corresponded to the London assay While the majority of Carmichael’s production was high-quality silver plate he.

The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last years is stamped with either 4 or 5 symbols, known as hallmarks. The prime purpose of these marks is to show that the metal of the item upon which they are stamped is of a certain level of purity. The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices. Only metal of the required standard will be marked. It is a form of consumer protection, whose origin goes back almost years.

There are so many different hallmarks found on British silver that to know all of them would be impossible. Fortunately, with the use of a single reference book, it is possible for even a complete novice to decipher the vast majority. Although there are many books on the market which can be used to help read hallmarks, the standard book of reference, used by dealers and collectors world wide is Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks.

This pocket sized reference contains all of the marks that one is likely to encounter on a regular basis. Armed with this book, the process of reading these marks can be split into the 5 simple steps shown below. Bradbury’s book of hallmarks was last updated in by the Sheffield Assay office. It can be purchased directly from there or from any major book seller. There are 5 standard marks found on British Silver The walking lion for all sterling silver made in England The standing lion for all sterling silver made in Glasgow The thistle for for all sterling silver made in Edinburgh The crowned harp for all sterling silver made in Dublin The image of Britannia for Britannia standard silver.

Simply flick through the book, looking at the top of the tables of marks to remind yourself if you forget.

How to easily identify and date sterling silver hallmarks