Finding and Identifying Silver Hallmarks on Different Pieces
With about any ash grey or silverplate detail, you ‘ll notice bantam stamped marks somewhere on the part. These can take the shape of pictures, words, names, letters, or numbers. It may help to have a magnify glaze and some silver medal polish handy. Use a cotton swab to lightly polish the area near the mark. This will create a contrast between the adjourn area of the stamp, which will distillery be tarnished, and the smother metallic element. Use a magnify methamphetamine if you ca n’t make out the details. Silver hallmarks appear in respective places, depending on what character of silver item you have .
- Understanding Markings on Jewelry
- Sterling Silver Jewelry: What to Know Before You Buy
- Wallace Sterling Silver Flatware: History, Designs and Buying Options
Finding Silver Hallmarks on Jewelry
The placement of flatware marks depends on the piece. In general, you can find silver hallmarks in the pursue locations :
- For pendants, pins, and other large, flat jewelry items, turn the piece over. You should see a tiny stamp on the back of the item.
- For rings and cuff bracelets, look inside the item. The hallmark should be stamped somewhere on the interior surface.
- For necklaces and other items with silver chains, check for a stamp someplace near the clasp. Sometimes, this will be on a small metal tag.
Finding Silver Hallmarks on Flatware
silverplate and greatest silver flatware is constantly marked, but the placement of the mark depends on the detail :
- Spoons will feature a hallmark on the back of the handle, usually just below the bowl.
- Forks will have a silver hallmark near the shoulders or wider portion.
- Knives and some serving pieces may be stamped on the ferrule, or collar, that surrounds the handle.
Finding Silver Hallmarks on Dishes and Other Large Pieces
large pieces like stadium, dresser sets, and trays besides feature hallmarks. These tips can help you find them :
- Items like bowls, trays, silver teapots, and other dishes should feature a hallmark on the bottom of the piece.
- Candlesticks, vases, figurines, and other decorative pieces should have a stamp on the bottom as well.
- Personal care items like hairbrushes, mirrors, and other dresser set components will be stamped on the underside or on the handle.
Reading Silver Hallmarks to Identify Sterling and Silverplate
silver hallmarks are extremely authoritative for determining the metal message of an item. To the untrained center, it can be unmanageable to tell the dispute between sterling flatware and silverplate. Telling the dispute between these two materials is important when determining the value of antique silver, and argent marks hold the key .
Silver Hallmark Identification Chart
This handy printable chart will help you identify silver markings and their meanings. You can print a imitate to keep in your bag when antique shop or plainly save it for citation on your earphone. If you need help downloading the silver authentication chart, check out these helpful tips for downloading printables.
(CC BY-ND 4.0)
Common Sterling Silver Hallmarks
Because argent is such a soft metal, manufacturers about never used it alone. Sterling silver is 92.5 percentage pure silver and 7.5 percentage other metals like bull and nickel. For centuries, silversmiths have had a legal province to stamp their wares to identify it as greatest silver. The stamps or hallmarks they used have varied with the location, time, and manufacturer. These are some of the most common :
- “Sterling silver”
- “92.5% pure”
- Lion passant, or a lion with one paw raised, for sterling made in England
- Thistle mark, for sterling made in Scotland
- Crowned harp, for sterling made in Ireland
Common Silverplate Hallmarks
Some items are silverplate, which means they are crafted from a base alloy and then covered in a reduce level of pure ash grey. silverplate items are n’t always marked. In fact, if a piece is n’t marked to indicate the metallic content, it is probably silverplate. however, there are a few common silverplate marks you might encounter :
- “EPNS” (for electro-plated nickel silver)
- “EPBM” (for electro-plated Britannia metal)
- “EP” (for electro-plated)
- “BP” (for Britannia plate)
Other Silver Hallmarks for Metal Content
There are a few other hallmarks you may encounter that indicate the alloy contentedness of a piece :
- “Nickel silver” or “German silver” indicate an item that is not made of silver at all but is silver in color.
- The Britannia mark, or a figure with staff and shield, indicates 958/1000 parts silver. This is slightly purer than sterling silver.
- “Coin” or “coin silver” indicates an item that is 90% silver or 900/1000 parts silver.
Matching Silver Maker’s Marks to Manufacturers
In many, but not all cases, flatware manufacturers stamped their wares with maker ‘s marks. These age-old silverware markings are authoritative for identifying a convention or finding the official identify or respect of a specific piece. Each manufacturer ‘s bell ringer is singular, and manufacturers changed their marks over time. There are thousands of different maker ‘s marks on silver, but these tips can help you understand the markings on your man .
- Compare your piece to marks found in the Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks, & Maker’s Marks or Silver Hallmarks and Marks. Both sites offer photographs and extensive information about specific manufactures of silverplate and sterling silver.
- It’s important to note that many manufacturers made both sterling and silver-plated items.
- A single silver company could have used many different variations throughout the years, which means you can also use these marks to help date the piece.
Dating Antique Silver Using Marks
many pieces besides feature a patent date stamp next to the godhead ‘s target and silver content mark. The patent date does not indicate the date the assemble was made. Manufacturers would frequently patent designs for jewelry, flatware, and early items and then continue to produce those patterns or pieces for decades. however, the patent date does give you a starting place for estimating the old age of your detail. You will see apparent date indicated in several different ways, including the surveil :
- “Patent” followed by a year
- “Pat.” followed by a year
- “Patent applied for” followed by a year
Get Important Clues From Silver Markings and Their Meanings
silver medal hallmarks are some of the most important antique identification marks you can study. They provide information about the prize, old age, flatware contented, and history of your silver pieces. Learning how to decipher the clues in these marks allows you to actually understand the details of your care for.