Dating english gold hallmarks

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But those of us who search for clues to a piece's age and origin are always delighted to find a hallmark on a jewel, because it eliminates a great deal of guesswork.Learning how to identify hallmarks is an essential part of becoming an expert in the field.On French silver jewelry, the most often-seen mark is the boars head, the mark of the Paris Assay Office, indicating a fineness of 800 or higher on small articles (such as jewelry). Outside of Paris, the crab mark was used from 1838 to 1961, and since 1962, has also been used by the Paris Assay Office.

Platinum was not officially recognized by the French government as a precious metal until 1910, at which time the eagles head for gold was also used for platinum.

In 1912, a special mark for platinum was introduced, a dogs head.

Before 1910, French platinum jewelry may have a maker's mark, but it was not hallmarked. Other symbols may be used in combination with these numbers.

In 1932, 15 and 12 ct were abandoned in favor of 14 ct, which was also marked 585. In 1975, all gold marks were standardized, and the crown mark and the fineness in thousandths became the only marks to be used in addition to place of assay and date letter.

On English silver, the lion passant (walking lion) is the symbol for sterling silver (925).

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