Dating english silver hallmarks

Even as the market broadened, silver remained conservative in design.Old styles were revisited, or deployed with small changes to make them look contemporary.In addition to the fineness, hallmarks can show where and when an item was hallmarked, and who submitted it.This page isn't an end in itself, it is intended to help make a start on identifying the hallmarks in your watch case and then lead you to another page with more detail.Altogether there were twenty large and small assay offices in the nineteenth century, each with its own system of date letters.The date letter year in London, for example, ran from May 20 in one year to May 18 the following year, for the very good reason that the goldsmiths‘ year began on May 19, the festival day of their patron saint Dunstan, when no business was transacted, and ended the following year on Saint Dunstan’s Eve, May 18.Numerous books on British hallmarks exist, all taking as a point of departure Charles Jackson’s (which also includes Wales).

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This change was accompanied by two further developments.The style and even the number of letters varied from office to office.London, for example, used only a–u, Chester used the entire alphabet, and both omitted j.On this page there is a brief description of a number of different types of hallmarks that you are likely to find in a watch case, and then for the British and Swiss marks there are links to take you to the full page of information for that type of mark.