Antique silver dating marks

These are traditional standard marks that can still be used today. Since 1972 the UK has been a signatory to the international convention on hallmarks.

This means that UK Assay Offices can apply the common control mark which will then be recognised by all member countries in the convention.

I often get requests from people asking for help with vintage jewelry they’ve acquired.

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Prior to the change in the copyright law in 1955, the designs were patented.

The most commonly seen vintage Trifari pieces have signatures from pre-1955 through the 1990s.

Vintage jewelry from other countries may have European purity marks, such as “585” for 14K gold and “750” for 18K gold, as shown in the photo below.

Vintage costume jewelry usually doesn’t have purity marks, but will often have a maker’s mark (commonly called the signature), and can sometimes have a retailer mark and/or patent or inventory marks.

A detailed study of vintage jewelry marks could fill multiple books, but to give some guidance we can use the Trifari company as an example.

Trifari always signed its jewelry and was very diligent about protecting its designs.

It should be noted that the head did not always change with the Monarch! The figure of Britannia was used from December 1784 to July 1785 to indicate repayment.

From 1842 it was illegal to sell imported gold or silver in the UK unless it was assayed (tested) at a British office. From 1904 the carat value of gold was also shown and for silver the decimal value of the standard was used.

For example, most Sterling Silver Jewelry up until the 1940s era was usually stamped “STERLING” or “STER” or “STG.” The “925” mark did not come into common use until later.

Some makers continue to use the “STERLING” mark in place of “925” even today.

This is the unique mark of the company or person responsible for sending the article for hallmarking.

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