Silver Marks - Makers Database
Want to unlock their secrets and discover their true value? Then our mobile app is the solution you've been looking for! With just a few taps on your smartphone, you can easily identify the marks on your antique silver and uncover its history.
The four components of a hallmark are: the sponsor or maker's mark, the standard mark, the assay office mark and the date letter for the year. Hallmark identification should answer four important questions - where; what; when; who. Where? Locate the assay office.
Sterling silver is an alloy made up of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper or zinc. Sterling silver pieces are stamped with 925 to mark their authenticity.
Each piece of silver, especially those made in the 19th and 20th centuries, is marked in some way. Most feature the name or hallmark of the manufacturer, and some also display the silver content, the name of the jeweler who first sold the piece, and the date the pattern was introduced.
Hallmarks - The app Hallmarks - Identify Antiques is a good option for identifying random hallmarks on silver and other pieces. The hallmarks are alphabetical. Although the initial app is free, you'll need to pay to unlock all the hallmarks.
Sterling silver (925): This is the standard for silver, identifying a silver item that is at least 92.5% silver mixed with copper to give it strength. Marks on these pieces include 925 or Sterling. Any mark indicating a higher silver content, such as 950, would also qualify as sterling.
Many silversmiths stamped their wares with makers marks, but not in all cases. These markings on antique silver are essential for identifying a pattern and determining the value or official name. Manufacturers have changed their marks over the years, so each maker's mark can be unique.
If your antique silver technique is truly sterling silver and not simply plated, it will be stamped with a telltale hallmark. Typically found on the bottom of the piece, a silver stamp may include: The words “Sterling Silver' A numeric value (800, 900, 925, etc.)
This symbol shows which Assay Office tested and marked the item. The Anchor is the symbol of Assay Office Birmingham .
A = Standard Quality = 24 grams on 12 pieces = 2 grams per table spoon or table fork. B1 = Quality code found in a Walker & Hall spoon = meaning unknown. B = Third Quality = 16 grams on 12 pieces = 1 1/3 grams per table spoon or table fork. C = Fourth Quality = 12 grams on 12 pieces = 1 grams per table spoon or table ...
The Magnet Test
Most precious metals-like gold and copper-are nonmagnetic, and silver is no exception. Grab some magnets and see if they are drawn to your object. "Silver is not noticeably magnetic, and exhibits only weak magnetic effects unlike iron, nickel, cobalt, and the like," says Martin.
It may well look silver…
For starters, many antique silver pieces were gilded – this means that a very fine layer of gold is applied, changing the colour, appearance, and quality of the item. Silver also corrodes over time, and older pieces can often be tarnished dark brown or black in colour.
Silver products sometimes may be marked 925, which means that 925 parts per thousand are pure silver. Some jewelry described as "silver plate" has a layer of silver applied to a base metal. "Coin silver" is used for compounds that contain 90% pure silver.
Inspect the pieces looking for markings such as “925,” “. 925” or “sterling” for pieces made in the U.S. These pieces are usually darker in color and are naturally lighter in weight. Sterling silver pieces have intrinsic value, and can often be resold.
Silver plate can also have markings that look a bit like hallmarks. Look out for the letters EP or EPNS which stand for electro plate or electro plated nickel silver. It may also have the marking A1 or B1 which denote the quality of the silver plate.
Most silver plated items are made of silver-on-copper. So if a magnet 'sticks' to the item, it cannot be silver or copper. If a suitable magnet shows the diamagnetic effect the item might be silver (most likely with a coin) or it could be silver-plating on copper. Do not confuse diamagnetism with magnetism.
Q: Is Real Silver Required to Have a Stamp? A: Short answer, yes. The 925 stamp or hallmark is overseen by the United States government in order to protect consumers. It is illegal for any plated or fake silver item to be stamped or hallmarked with “sterling" or 925.