Dating english silver from hallmark
If you can't see any of these 5 marks, the chances are that the item is either not British or is silverplated.
If you can find one of these marks, then you know that the item is British silver and you can move onto stage 2.
Note that dublin is unique in using the same mark for the town mark and the standard mark. However, the crowned harp is often seen with another mark called the Hibernia which is similar to the Brittania Silver Mark of a seated lady.
This mark is sometimes mistook for the standard mark but it was in fact a special duty mark, used only in Dublin.
So, although, only 20 letters are used, it is possible to know exactly which year that particular combination of font, and shield is referring to.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.The vast majority of English, Scottish and Irish silver produced in the last 500 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.