A Guide To English Silver Hallmarks

Silver gifts which are produced and sold within a commercial capacity will need an official hallmark. This provides the recipient with clear indication as to the purity of the piece, origins and other important information. These hallmarks come in a variety of symbols, with anything produced during the 21st century sometimes containing up to three.


What Are The Origins of Silver Hallmarks?

Edward I demanded purity of 925 parts per thousand to ensure all silver was made to sterling standard. This has now been with us for more than 700-years, where even in the present day, very stringent testing is conducted to indicate the purity of any silver.


What Are The Standard Silver Marks?

These marks are really important, not least how they clearly indicate the amount of pure silver which makes up your item. Hallmarks are implemented at offices based in Birmingham, Edinburgh, London and Sheffield. It’s widely accepted that the lion representing Britain is the most common.


What Are Duty Marks?

During a very specific period of time, there were also duty marks inscribed onto silver, the form of which would have either been a King or Queen depending on the monarch of the day. The name was rather appropriate given how this signified that duty had been paid.


What Are Commemorate Marks?

Over the course of history, there have been occasions where very special marks have been inscribed into silver. This could be to celebrate the reign of a monarch or to represent the dawn of a brand new century. What makes these so special would be their exclusivity to that period of time, and how they won’t ever be produced again. There’s also going to be a brand new symbol introduced this year to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The hallmark will be a celebration of this historic occasion.


Reading The Dates

There was a time where dates were a mandatory feature behind hallmarks. Dates were indicated with a letter, which suggests the year in which the silver was first assayed. Anyone collecting silver pieces should be wary of the fact that not until the 1970s did these dates represent just one year. Until then, these marks were done at different times within each year,  which means the letter was sometimes used over two years.


Why Are Hallmarks Important?

We truly believe that silver is the most special commodity to hand someone as a gift. But that’s only if the silver is genuine, and this is why the hallmark system is crucial, otherwise lots of people could become the recipient of poor or even fake products. In some cases, people could be spending tons of money on silver items, so they’ll need reassurance that they're indeed purchasing something pure.


We Are Silver Specialists

The Silver Place can help you discover stunning silver gifts to mark special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. Choose from our growing range of quality items, all made with the purity you would expect from the finest silver on the marketplace. Simply get in contact with us directly for further information about the silver gifts we supply and how they can be the perfect present for you or your loved ones.

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