Metals

The Gold Sovereign

The Gold Sovereign was first issued during the reign of Henry VII in 1489 and had a value of twenty shillings. In those days if a coin had a face value of twenty shillings it would have an intrinsic gold bullion value of the same and these coins were Read more

Nathaniel Mills (1784-1843)

Nathaniel Mills (1784-1843) – The King of Castle Tops
By Cliff Proctor
If you are fortunate enough to own a slim silver card case which is deeply embossed with an image of a castle or some other important building or monument, and if the initials ‘N.M’ are incorporated within the hallmark Read more

Spelter

Spelter is a synonym for a zinc alloy. Figurines, candlesticks, and other pieces were made of spelter and given a bronze or painted finish. The metal has been used since about the 1860s to make statues, tablewares, and lamps that resemble bronze. Spelter is soft and breaks easily. To Read more

William Spratling 1900-1967

William Spratling was an American-born silver designer and artist, best known for his influence on 20th century Mexican silver design. Spratling was born in 1900 in Sonyea, Livingston County, New York, the son of epileptologist William P. Spratling
Always, our initial reason for looking at hallmarks is so that we Read more

Mexican Silver Hallmarks & Makers

Above is a sampling of Mexican silver purity marks ranging from the ca.1900 to the early 1970’s. The “Mexico Silver” or “Silver Made in Mexico” are seen on pieces from the 1920’s through mid 1940’s, their silver standard varies, but is commonly above .925 purity.
The following number marks indicate Read more

Worldwide Hallmarks and Silversmiths

Austria-Hungary
Left ~ 18th Cent. The 13 indicates silver purity, 13/16 lothig or .813, year 1753
Right ~ 19th Cent. until 1886. The letter at top indicates town, A = Vienna, year 1857

Top ~ 1886 – 1922. Diana head mark, number at left indicates silver purity, 3 =.800. Letter on Read more

German Hallmarks & Makers

The crown & crescent are the state mark and are followed by a numeric standard mark and usually a maker’s mark (symbol, initials or full name). Prior to 1884, instead of the crown & crescent, each city had its own symbol and silver purity was sometimes marked on the Read more

Italian silver hallmarks (Late 19th & 20th c)

Italy
1 ~ From 1872 – rarely used (an .800 stamp is more common)
2 ~ Fascist period 1934 – 1944
3 ~ 1944 to 1968
4 ~ 1968 to Present
In the last three examples, the number would be registered to an individual maker, the initials represent the region (ie. FI = Firenze)

This Read more

The Story of English Silver

Silver: Precious metal which is lighter and slightly less malleable than gold, but unlike gold is prone to tarnishing due to chemical reaction with pollutants in the air. Silver products are made from an alloy of pure silver and a small proportion of a base metal such as copper Read more

History of British Silver Hallmarks

BRITISH HALLMARKS
Hallmarking History
Hallmarking was originally introduced in 1300 by a Statute of Edward I and is probably the earliest form of consumer protection.
Hallmarking is necessary because when jewellery is manufactured, precious metals are not used in their pure form, as they are unworkable. Gold, Silver, and Platinum are always Read more