Faux Friday: Hallmarks

June 4, 2010

Hallmarked Chester 1913

Hallmarked Chester 1913

Hallmarking is the best standard to identify a piece, but unfortunately (although mostly illegal), jewellers are known to falsely stamp pieces. Hallmarking is the process of stamping precious metals, as they are intended to be stamped by the Assay Office to guarantee purity of the piece.

When collecting, it is necessary to bring a hallmarking book along to assist with the identification of pieces, as the listings are so vast that there is no way to fully comprehend each and every stamp.

Recommended is Jackson’s Hallmarks, and excellent and conveniently sized reference book for transport and identification. Hallmarks are the most honest way to find the maker and year a piece was created, with both gold and silver.

Earlier pieces do not have hallmarks with which to guide the collector, but 19th century pieces are easy to identify. Be sure hallmarks match and that they are honest to the piece. Many pieces have been falsely stamped in recent years to give a piece provenance, but can often be false. Check the marks have consistent wear with the piece and that the year / maker and any tax or import marks match.


Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks and Maker’s Marks

Hallmarks @ Wiki

3 Responses to “Faux Friday: Hallmarks”

  1. Jane Says:

    I believe this to be one of the best sites on the net for this subject. I think you should take all of the great info you share with the rest of us and put it into a book. I would most certainly buy a copy.

    • Many thanks to you, Jane. I would most certainly love to write a book on the subject, though one of the small perks of writing so much on the web is that I can change and add to the content (like everything in life, we learn more as we go along), as I’m certainly not perfect.

      At the end of the day, as long as someone out there learns a bit and feels the same passion I do for the subject, then my job is done!

  2. S Says:

    Look what I found the other day: http://www.schifferbooks.com/newschiffer/proposal.php I recommended you on the “Ideas for books I’d like to see published” section of the card that came with one of my Schiffer books. Never lose that spark.

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