Other lists include silver-plated wares and pewter. Four or five small pictorial marks usually indicate England as the country of origin. Become familiar with the English king or queen’s head mark as an indication of age. Silver was stamped with a lion for London, a thistle for Edinburgh. A hand indicates Antwerp, a spread eagle Germany or Russia.
If the king’s head faces right, it was made before 1850. The word STERLING indicates Ireland as well as America.
I informed a seller recently that something advertised as “made in the 1700s” was actually made in the 1930s in Czechoslovakia.
In many cases, mistakes like that are innocent and they thank me and take it down.
A single mark usually indicates that the piece of silver was made in America, although there are some Irish and Scottish pieces with just the maker’s name.
This is a list of American silver marks and solid American silver. Ornate capital letters or the fleur-de-lis were used in France.
A few countries, like Austria and Norway, have optional hallmarking. sends jewelry to London to have it hallmarked so they can sell it on the European market.Just like these certified diamonds that are laser-inscribed on the girdle of the diamond with the cert number, a hallmarked item is marked with the results of the testing.Whetstone: A maker’s mark can be the manufacturer, the company that sponsored the piece to be made, or the individual craftsman.There are a few books on the market, but if you want the ultimate, illustrated reference book, be prepared to shell out a couple hundred bucks for World Hallmarks, Volume I: Europe, 19th to 21st Centuries, due out in its second printing this month. People think any maker’s mark is a hallmark and that becomes a problem.As co-author Danusia Niklewicz puts it, “This book will pay for itself with one correctly identified piece.” I recently spoke to Niklewicz and William Whetstone, who compiled this tome with fellow appraiser Lindy Matula, about the basics of hallmark identification. Maker’s marks aren’t nearly as well documented as hallmarks. and Canada, there is no requirement to register one’s mark.