The Standard of Sterling
If you have read through our blogs, looked at our website or even purchased something from our company then you will have noticed that hallmarks are discussed a lot and appear on our gifts.
Today, we thought we’d bring you some information on today’s hallmarks and what they mean and why they are needed. We think the hallmarks are very interesting and decided we would discuss with you some information about the hallmarks we most commonly use.
All Silver items in the UK must be hallmarked so this means that the maker of the piece of Silver has to send it away to an Assay Office. Currently there are 4 Assay Offices in the UK:
Hallmarked Silver Assay Offices
London, Edinburgh, Sheffield, and Birmingham. A piece of Silver is sent away to whichever Assay Office is chosen. Then it is punched with the necessary hallmarks. These hallmarks include the Assay Offices’ signature mark:
The Symbols Of Hallmarks For The Assay Offices
- Sheffield = English Rose
- London = Leopards Head
- Edinburgh = Castle
- Birmingham = Anchor
an Anchor for Birmingham, an English Rose for Sheffield, a Leopard’s head for London, and Edinburgh Castle for Edinburgh.
Additional Silver Hallmarks
A mark indicating which grade of Silver has been used to create the item is then included. A small number is punched into the silver indicating 925 or 958. The Lion can be rampant or passant Lion. (see the next section) This can be replaced by what is known as the Britannia Hallmark.
The number 958 is for the Britannia Silver which is made of more solid silver. This is indicated and represented by the higher number itself
Sterling Standard The Lion
A mark of a Lion also has to be included. You will notice there are two different postures the Lion can be in. One is passant and the other rampant. The posture of the Lion indicates whether the item was made in Scotland or England.
The Lion passant is to indicate it was made in England. The Lion rampant proves that it was made in Scotland. The maker also may ask the office to stamp a date letter onto the item but this is optional. We pride ourselves on our wide varieties and collections of Silver, but we are most proud of the Scottish Silver we make.
We have our own personal makers mark shown below. The best part is this makes our products extremely unique and collectible. Someone else may have another brand of Silver, but nobody else has the Edinburgh Silver Hallmark!
Here is a set of cufflinks with a Britannia Hallmark: