Of the various minerals categorized as precious metals, silver is the most plentiful. It has long been used to fashion serving pieces , decorative items, jewelry , and a host of other goods. Most silver items include a stamp to indicate the purity of the silver being used. Items containing the purest forms of silver would be labeled. When metals are combined, they are known as alloys. Thus, most silver, including items that known as sterling silver, fall into the alloy category. For an item to be deemed sterling silver,
So can you trust the marks on your silver? The laws currently on the books the prohibit misleading marking date all the way back to One definitive way to find out if you have some Sterling silver or Fine silver is to take it to a professional appraiser, antiques dealer, or a pawnshop. However, one of the most common tests they can run — scraping a bit of the metal away and then applying a drop of nitric acid — will damage the piece to a small degree.
Find out more about acid tests for Sterling silver here. There are also a couple easy home tests you can do to help point you in the right direction.
Vintage silver plated 5 x teaspoons cutlery EPNS – Funky Flamingo High Tea, These are very rare, and very hard to date, as Mappin and Webb have been.
The first step in identifying and establishing the value of silver is to ascertain whether the piece is silver or silver-plated. Sterling silver objects are made of Unfortunately, silver-plated items hold almost no monetary worth. There is not enough silver content to have melt down value and generally, these pieces do not retain their resale value. Begin with looking for the hallmarks or stamps on the item. British silver can be a bit more complex, as the history of British hallmarking dates back to the 14 th century.
Essentially, all British silver manufactured after should bear at least four hallmarks. First is the lion passant mark, which is the sterling guarantee mark. In Edinburgh and Ireland, it is replaced with their National symbols, the thistle and the harp, respectively. This mark guarantees that the piece has been assayed as sterling silver.
Silver Mark Identification
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Monagh. EPNS Silver Plated Cutlery 55 Year Guarantee. The Monagh pattern is a Bauhaus design dating back to the ‘s. This pattern is now exclusive to the.
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.
One of the most highly structured hallmarking systems in the world is that of the United Kingdom, Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland , and Ireland. These five nations have, historically, provided a wealth of information about a piece through their series of applied punches. Since the year , the French assay mark for items made of solid silver is the head of the goddess Minerva in profile. The French have two standards for silver purity or fineness.
Both standards are marked with the head of Minerva inclusive of a numeral 1 or 2 to indicate the standard.
EPNS Silver plated Spoon Name: EPNS Silver plated Spoon Date: 3/5/2019 Event: Address/Venue: –
Silver plating was invented in the City of Sheffield and the craftsmanship associated with the trade has endured for centuries. The originators of silver-plating were George Richards Elkington and Henry Elkington who began their research in times of the industrial revolution. By the ‘s they had patented their processes and saw the technique of electro-plating brought to perfection.
Silver plate or electroplate is formed when a thin layer of pure or sterling silver is deposited electrolytically on the surface of a base metal usually nickel silver. Silver plated cutlery will display that same “warm” patina appearance that silver cutlery has. Owning a set of this type of cutlery is sure to impress your friends and dinner party guests.
Old English EPNS Cutlery. Old English is one of the oldest cutlery patterns in existence and dates back to the ‘s. It boasts a timeless pattern that.
Diana Modesto – Australia. Never assume these numbers as date of production of the piece. This is a code identifying the quality of the plating. At first the quarter was the shopping center for the royal court and the aristocracy who bought luxurious jewels and silverware. Thanks to the quality of their production, some workshops managed to become appointed purveyor to the king and his court and were rewarded for their talent by prestigious commissions. Later “Le Marais” was abandoned by the aristocracy and the court, whereafter the quarter was invaded by artisans and small industry.
During the 19th century the famous goldsmith and jewellery houses boomed, due to the new rich and famous, who could afford to buy luxurious jewellery and silverware. The emergence of these companies however, constrained the smaller shops to close. Indeed, the goldsmith and jewellery shops evolved during their lifetime, encountering growth, moments of fortune as well as financial problems.
At present only a few famous houses are still active in Paris, as there are Odiot, Puiforcat and Lapparra The present page is dedicated to Porto Portugal goldsmiths and their workshops, most of them located in Gondomar, in the suburbs east of the town. The activity involves a group of about 60 craftsmen still active in the production of a variety of best quality objects and jewels in sterling silver or vermeil gilt sterling silver using the tradition of “filigree” technique filigree is the process and type of design that uses twisted wire to create delicate, lacy, openwork jewelry The partnership, founded in , lasted until August 6, , when was dissolved by mutual consent.
The activity was continued at the same address by John Wellby, who entered his first mark at Goldsmiths’ Hall in
The Story of English Silver
Hallmarks are one of the most important factors in identifying antique silver jewelry, flatware, and other items. These small stamped symbols on the back or underside of silver items can tell you the purity of the silver, the manufacturer of the piece, and sometimes even the date it was made. Understanding how to read hallmarks is an important skill for any antiques enthusiast. If you have a piece of silver jewelry or a household item you’d like to identify, there’s a process that can help.
Follow these steps to learn about your item.
Choose from + Antique Silver Spoons, prices from £ to £ Only Genuine Antique Silver Spoons Approved. Date of Manufacture declared on all.
Marks on precious metals have been regulated by law since ancient times. From pharaohs, Roman emperors and continuing today, fineness, or standard marks, have been used to guarantee minimum amounts of precious metal in relation to non-precious metal. At least that’s the theory. But while most governments strictly monitor standard marks, very few regulate marks not related to the content of precious metals. It is perfectly legal, for example, to stamp silver with trademarks or brand names of companies no longer in business or whose trademark is no longer registered.
A new piece marked Unger Bros. This presents obvious problems for those interested in antique and collectible silver and silver plate. Almost all the pieces we’ll be discussing are made for the antique reproduction trade. The article will not include elaborate forgeries of museum quality silver made before or silver of other standards.
A Guide to British Sterling Silver Hallmarks
Over the next 50 years, Birks expanded by buying up established jewellers across the country. They also took over their rivals in manufacturing until they had a virtual monopoly on the production and sale of sterling silverware in Canada. Birks acquired several more designs from Gorham and other manufacturers later in the century and also designed a few of their own patterns like Tudor and Laurentian.
Birks manufactured their own flatware and some of their hollowware in their factory in Montreal up until the early s when the factory was closed and production was moved offshore. In the early part of the century, the factory employed nearly people. Some of their hollowware was purchased from manufacturers in the UK and the US and sold under the Birks label.
Read about the varieties of silver hallmark stamped or pressed onto silver bullion Image of hallmarks on a silver item. The term ‘hallmark’ dates back to Both are, though, commonly marked with EPNS – ElectroPlated Nickel Silver.
The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last years is stamped with either 4 or 5 symbols, known as hallmarks. The prime purpose of these marks is to show that the metal of the item upon which they are stamped is of a certain level of purity. The metal is tested and marked at special offices, regulated by the government, known as assay offices. Only metal of the required standard will be marked. It is a form of consumer protection, whose origin goes back almost years.
There are so many different hallmarks found on British silver that to know all of them would be impossible. Fortunately, with the use of a single reference book, it is possible for even a complete novice to decipher the vast majority. Although there are many books on the market which can be used to help read hallmarks, the standard book of reference, used by dealers and collectors world wide is Bradbury’s Book of Hallmarks. This pocket sized reference contains all of the marks that one is likely to encounter on a regular basis.
Armed with this book, the process of reading these marks can be split into the 5 simple steps shown below. Bradbury’s book of hallmarks was last updated in by the Sheffield Assay office. It can be purchased directly from there or from any major book seller. There are 5 standard marks found on British Silver The walking lion for all sterling silver made in England The standing lion for all sterling silver made in Glasgow The thistle for for all sterling silver made in Edinburgh The crowned harp for all sterling silver made in Dublin The image of Britannia for Britannia standard silver.
Old English EPNS Cutlery
The earliest form of silver plating was Sheffield plate, where thin sheets of silver were fused to a layer or core of base metal of copper. Since about a process called electroplating has been used. It is not sterling silver. Many of the early pieces were impressed with marks resembling hallmarks used on sterling silver. The London silversmiths filed an injunction in
I would love your opinion, I can’t find any info on the maker or date of this spoon. EPNS and EPBM are the acronyms more frequently used to identify English.
Hallmarks are authenticating marks struck on most silver items produced or offered for sale in Ireland. Since the Assay Office in Dublin Castle has been the only body with the authority to perform this task. The marks serve several functions:. In Ireland, sterling silver is not less than Below are a few examples and a guide to reading antique Irish silver hallmarks, followed by photos of as many date letters as I could manage.
JS; this is the maker, John Smyth of Dublin. This is the stamp for 3. The harp crowned, the purity mark.
An Introduction to Silver Markings and Terminology
For over 80 years Newbridge Cutlery has been designing and crafting quality cutlery at its manufacturing facility in Ireland. Today, craftsmen each with a lifetime’s experience continue to fashion the finest cutlery with the same skills and loving care. At the turn of the 20th century, the town of Newbridge, in the heart of Co. Kildare was a thriving garrison community.
pineapple, epns menorah scallop shell. MS,SM, shield gateway, Ellis-Barker Silver Co. From , formerly Barker Brothers Birmingham England, UK known as.
These are two teaspoons, manufactured and made in Australia by Sundowner. I think it is stamped on the back K. One spoon is of an aboriginal throwing a boomerang and the other is a weird looking Kangaroo. They are in good condition, a little tarnished in places, but a wonderful collectors piece. Please refer to the photographs.
These are lovely stainless steel fondue forks which wooden handles, and different coloured tips. They look to have never been used, and come in the original box.