Vintage Watchstraps. This page is principally about hallmarking. A hallmark is a legally mandated mark applied by an independent testing authority that shows the fineness of precious metal; gold, silver or platinum. Not all marks on watch cases are hallmarks! For instance, a mark could be a be manufacturer's trademark, and there are is no such thing as an American hallmark.
Collecting Antique Silver
Collecting Antique Silver & Silver Hallmarks -
If you choose collecting antique silver as your main antique interest, you should make sure you know the general history and the historical periods associated with collectable silver. Silver products are usually made from an alloy of pure silver and a small proportion of a base metal such as copper to improve strength and durability. The proportion of pure silver varies according to standards set by different countries, such as the Britannia Standard, the sterling silver standard and the various countries assay marks, which are also known as silver hallmarks. Ever since silver was discovered it has been fashioned into highly decorative objects and personal objects of great beauty, and these can be of prime interest to the silver collector.
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Dating of journeyman marks working for Chawner family. This is a page of 'The What is? Little symbols; the item is based on silver content.
A silver object that is to be sold commercially is, in most countries, stamped with one or more silver hallmarks indicating the purity of the silver, the mark of the manufacturer or silversmith, and other optional markings to indicate date of manufacture and additional information about the piece. In some countries, the testing of silver objects and marking of purity is controlled by a national assayer's office. Hallmarks are applied with a hammer and punch, a process that leaves sharp edges and spurs of metal. Therefore, hallmarking is generally done before the piece goes for its final polishing. The hallmark for sterling silver varies from nation to nation, often using distinctive historic symbols, although Dutch and UK Assay offices no longer strike their traditional hallmarks exclusively in their own territories and undertake assay in other countries using marks that are the same as those used domestically.