Dating english gold hallmarks
Sequences of historical marks for the following offices can be viewed through the links below (reproduced courtesy of the British Hallmarking Council).
Finally the sponsors' mark, which should be unique, indicates the manufacturer.
Prior to 1975 the date letter varied for each assay office.
The date letter and the traditional fineness marks are no longer compulsory components of the hallmark.
Most sponsors' marks take the form of initials surrounded by a shield design – this is important, as many different sponsors may have the same initials.
Other hallmarks, like commemorative or duty marks, can also provide clues to help you date your object.
During the XV century, to prevent the bad practice of marking as sterling under standard items with a possible detriment of the silver standard use for coin (silverware could be converted in coin without assaying if marked with the leopard head), some change were promoted.
Hallmarking operations were moved to the Goldsmith Hall of London, where the Workshipful Company of Goldsmiths was established, and put under the control of an Assay Master (then the term hallmarking).
The shield shape varies, and a minimum of two initials must be included. When you create your punch with us, you join a register of makers stretching back centuries. The shape of the surrounding shield indicates metal type.The statute made it the responsibility of the Wardens of the Goldsmiths' Guild to mark all items of sterling standard with a leopard's head stamp.The first hallmarking was confined to Goldsmiths’ Hall in London but in time other assay offices were opened.However, we believe that the date letter is a very important component of the hallmark, as it is the easiest way to date an item and research has shown that most of our customers still want to see the traditional fineness mark on the hallmark.(Also known as Maker's Mark.) This is the registered mark of the company or person that submitted the article for hallmarking.