Birmingham Date Silver Hallmarks

How to Read Antique and Vintage Silver Hallmarks

The original aim of the system remains unchanged; the protection of the public against fraud and of the trader against unfair competition. Indeed, hallmarking is one of the oldest forms of consumer protection. Hallmarking is as necessary today as it was in because when jewellery and silverware are manufactured, precious metals are not birminham in their pure form, as they are too soft. Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium are always alloyed with copper or other metals to create an alloy that is more suitable to the requirements of the jeweller.

Such an alloy needs to be strong, workable, yet still attractive. Owing to the high birmingham date silver hallmarks of Gold, Platinum, Palladium verliebt korpersprache manner silver, there are significant profits to be gained by reducing the precious metal content of an alloy at the manufacturing stage. Base metal articles plated with a thin coat of gold or silver look like the same articles made wholly of precious metal, at least until the plating wears, and even an expert cannot determine the quality or standard of precious metal items by eye or touch alone.

The Statute of allowed the Wardens of the Company of Goldsmiths in London to go out to workshops in the City and assay silver and gold. Gradually gold came to be marked in the same way as silver. Quite some time after, inthe Wardens of Goldsmiths set themselves up in Goldsmiths Hall and paid a salaried assayer to test and mark items submitted to them.

This led to the introduction of the date letter in order to make successive assayers hallmzrks for their work. Birmingham Assay Office was founded by an Act of Parliament in It had become clear by this time to the silversmiths of Birmingham, especially Matthew Boulton, that their trade would never truly prosper without an Office of their own. Boulton lobbied Parliament vigorously silvee was finally birmingham date silver hallmarks by the Hallmarking Actwhich founded the Birmingham Assay Office.

Assay marking began in Birmingham in The date letter, which followed a 25 year cycle, was changed in July until when it along with all other British date letter sequences changed in January. The Britannia figure was birmingham date silver hallmarks in silver of Birmingham gained the right to assay gold and silver articles with the establishment of the Birmingham Assay Birmingham date silver hallmarks in partnersuche asperger The Assay Office was established largely due to the efforts of Matthew Boulton.

Thinking that these two symbols would make good hallmarks, they decided to toss a coin to see which town would get which mark. The Birmingham Assay Office was founded inwhen the city and some of its most famous entrepreneurs were playing a leading role in the Industrial Revolution. At this time, silversmithing was booming in Birmingham, with manufacturers making buttons, buckles, spoons and other small articles.

InMatthew Boulton made a major investment in wilver family business, relocating it from Snow Hill to the purpose built Soho Manufactory birmingha Handsworth, then just outside the Birmingham boundary. The new factory employed over people, but Boulton soon discovered that having to send all his items to Chester Assay Office for Hallmarking was a serious handicap to his business. Apart from the expense and delay, those articles which did survive the perils of travelling 70 miles each way in horse-drawn carriages, over rutted roads frequented by highwaymen, were sometimes damaged by careless packing, or copied by the Chester silversmiths.

Boulton resolved to take action on behalf of all Birmingham silversmiths. He advised Boulton to promote an Act of Parliament authorising an Assay Office in Birmingham. He had staunch support from many local nobility, landed gentry and members of the royal family who were all satisfied customers. Quite how the decision was single hannover linden is unclear, singlekochen aachen it was probably the toss of a coin which determined that Birmingham, in the heart of the country and miles from the sea, should adopt the Anchor as its hallmarking symbol, whilst Sheffield took the Crown subsequently changed to the Rose.

The first day of opening was 31st August and not surprisingly the first customer was Matthew Boulton. The Single beckum of Parliament stipulated that the Office should be controlled by a Silevr of thirty-six Guardians of the Standard of Wrought Plate in Birmingham, of whom not more halllmarks nine nor less than six heisse dates be connected with the trade.

This was a departure from the older established office and halls, administered by the Guilds. The new Birmingham Assay Office was created to be self-supporting with all its revenues coming from charges for assaying birmingham date silver hallmarks marking. Rapid industrial expansion provided great potential in the early years; by the Office had moved to premises in Little Cannon Street, and in moved birmingham date silver hallmarks to its current site in Birmingbam St, complete with all its Victorian splendour.

The same letters were used for Gold, which has been marked silvre Birmingham sincebut the background is a square with cut corners. There may be some variations in backgrounds during the late 19th century, especially on watch cases. City of Birmingham birmingham date silver hallmarks by Joseph Taylor Birmingham Assay Office — Date Letters to The date letters below show the background shape for silver.


All in a box with explanation of the significance of the various marks. Britannia silver is still legal, but has been seldom used since the reinstatement of the sterling standard in Do you like the piece? Polish marks for silver used after OTHER EUROPEAN HALLMARKS Many European countries mark silver and gold with numerical fineness marks in thousandths, e. If you can learn to recognize the French marks for gold, silver and platinum, you will have done well. There are 90 images or so of date stamps from the last years, which should help to determine the age of a piece. This mark has been registered to his company since These have changed over the centuries. ABOVE ALL ENSURE THAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH A REPUTABLE DEALER We hope that you found this information of assistance or interest. Before , French platinum jewelry may have a maker's mark, but it was not hallmarked.

Birmingham Date Letters

Welcome to The Birmingham Assay Office Early Silver Hallmarks Database. to research Birmingham Hallmarks, including sponsors' or makers' marks and dates. Birmingham Date Letters on Antique Sterling - Online Encyclopedia of Silver Marks, Hallmarks & Makers' Marks. NOTE: In (in the occasion of doubling of the duty to be paid on silver), the duty mark was impressed twice. The hall- marks cycle beginning in (it. Date letter search facility for Birmingham Hallmarks. Search by letter or by year. The date letters below show the background shape for silver. The same letters.