Silver Jewelry Marks: Learn to Identify and Date Silver Jewelry

Vintage Silver Hallmarks

What are Silver Jewelry Marks?

Silver jewelry marks are the hallmarks found on silver jewelry to help identify the composition and source of the jewelry. At a minimum they include the purity marks that indicate the silver content, and can also include the maker’s mark (or signature). Silver jewelry marks can also include the region or town where the piece was made and/or dateletters to indicate the year when the piece was made.

American Silver Jewelry Marks

American silver jewelry marks are fairly simple, usually including a purity mark, and sometimes a maker’s mark. Because Sterling Silver is 92.5% silver, the common purity mark used today is “925.” Most vintage Sterling Silver pieces have the older marks: “STERLING,” “STER,” or “STG.” Some modern jewelry today will use “STERLING” either with “925” or without it, usually in conjunction with the maker’s mark.

For examples of American silver jewelry marks, see the first article in this series, Vintage Jewelry Marks: Help for Dating Your Vintage Jewelry

Resource: The 925-1000.com site has a very extensive database of silver marks from all over the world. For American silver marks visit this page:
American Silver Marks on www.925-1000.com.

To look up a maker’s mark, use the Alphabetical Listing by Maker’s Name by clicking a letter. You can also use the Pictorial Marks to locate symbols and the Initial Marks to identify initials used by a company when you don’t know the company name. Note that the database includes marks used on flatware and other silver items, so you may need to search a bit to locate the company you want.

Mexican Silver Jewelry Marks

Mexican silver jewelry marks usually include the “925” purity mark, and sometimes include “STERLING” as well. In addition, the jewelry will often be stamped “MEXICO” or “HECHO EN MEXICO” (MADE IN MEXICO). Older pieces may be simply signed “MEXICO SILVER.” Pieces stamped D.F. (for Distrito Federal) come from Mexico City.

Pieces from the Taxco region are often stamped “TAXCO” or sometimes simply with the letter “T” at the beginning of the signature. The second letter of the signature represents the initial of the last name of the artisan, and the number following is the sequential number assigned to that artisan. So “TB-188” indicates a Taxco artisan whose last name begins with the letter “B” who happens to be the 188th artisan who registered with the letter “B.”

Mexico Silver Jewelry Marks
Mexico Silver Marks from Taxco and Mexico D.F. (Mexico City)

Resources for Mexican Silver Marks

925-1000: Here is the section of 925-1000.com for Mexican Silver Marks: Mexican Silver Marks on www.925-1000.com

Lang Antiques’ Antique Jewelry University: Here is their list of Mexican Jewelry Maker’s Marks: Mexican Jewelry Maker’s Marks on Antique Jewelry University

British Silver Jewelry Marks

British silver jewelry marks are the most complex, as they include various letters and symbols. British hallmarks have been used for over 500 years and have changed over time. Hallmarks include a Standard or Purity Mark, a City or Town Mark, a Date Letter, a Duty Mark, and a Maker’s Mark. Not all pieces will have all of these marks.

The Standard (Purity) Mark is usually a symbol, that varies, depending on the region. The photo below shows examples of these symbols, as well as the most common Town Marks.

British Standard and Town Marks
Examples of British Standard (Purity) and Town Marks

The Date Letters are especially tricky, as the various towns used different lettering schemes to represent the years. After a complete set of letters was used, a new set began a different font. Luckily, you can find many photos and charts online that help decipher the dates. Just make sure you are using the chart for the town where your piece was made. There are now even phone apps for hallmarks. Just search for “British Hallmarks” on either your computer or phone app.

Glasgow Dateletters Chart
Chart with Glasgow Dateletters

Resources for British Silver Marks

925-1000 British Hallmarks: This page explains the hallmarks with photos of the most common marks. View it at: British Hallmarks

Silver Hallmarks: A U.K. site with an “English Silver Hallmarks” page that shows and explains the British marks. View it at: English Silver Hallmarks

Antique Silver: This U.K. site has several helpful pages, like this one with charts of Town Date Marks. See it here: Antique Silver Town and Date Marks

Scandinavian Silver Jewelry Marks

Scandinavian silver jewelry marks vary with the country. Swedish silver marks are similar to British silver marks, as they also have Town Marks and Dateletter Marks. Sweden uses one Dateletter chart, which makes things a bit easier. Norwegian and Danish silver marks usually include a Purity Mark and a Maker’s Mark. The examples shown in the photo below are from David Andersen in Norway, and Meka in Denmark.

Scandinavian Silver Jewelry Marks
David Anderson (Norway) and Meka (Denmark) Silver Marks

Resources for Scandinavian Silver Marks

925-1000 Swedish Hallmarks Page: This page has a chart with the Swedish Date Code Marks. View it here: Date Code Marks on Swedish Silver

925-1000 Danish Hallmarks Page: This page includes links to a Danish Hallmarks Overview, Danish Assay Marks, and Danish Makers’ Marks. See it at: Danish Hallmarks

925-1000 Norwegian Makers’ Marks Page: This section includes four pages of photos for many Norwegian Hallmarks. See it at: Norwegian Silver Makers’ Marks

925-1000 David Andersen Marks Page: This page shows the various marks used by the David Andersen company, established in Norway in 1876, and still producing jewelry today. See it at: David Andersen Hallmarks

Silver Jewelry Marks Used in Other Countries

It’s not possible to cover every country in a single article, but there are some good online resources to research silver jewelry marks in various countries.

925-1000 Guide to World Hallmarks: This page includes photos of typical hallmarks used in various countries. View it here at: Guide to World Hallmarks. In addition, their overview page has links to various international hallmark pages, including Austrian, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Russian, and more. View it here at: 925-1000.com Overview Page

Modern Silver Magazine: This site has a helpful article written by Christie Romero in 1998 with information about French and European hallmarks, as well as hallmarks from other countries. Read it here at: Basic Hallmark Identification

Additional Resources

Please visit the My Classic Jewelry Resources page for a list of other helpful vintage jewelry sites. View it here: My Classic Jewelry Vintage Jewelry Resources. In addition, check out my list of recommended vintage jewelry books books at: My Classic Jewelry Recommended Reading

Here are a few hand-picked vintage silver jewelry books on Amazon:

Please Comment, Share, and Connect

I hope this article has been helpful to you. I’d love to hear your comments or questions. Please click the comments link below this article to add your comments. To share this article, use the share buttons below. You can also use the Social Media buttons in the right sidebar to visit my pages.

Thank you, Christine 🙂

Valarie

I have a gold and silver horse show halter i may purchase. On the back of the buckle it is just stamped/engraved “Mexico” . Is this still real silver or plated silver. thanks for the help! Valarie

Tim

I have a wonderful old, 1930s I am guessing, rhinestone necklace with a strange makers mark that I can’t identify. It is stamped in on the clasp in a square with a capitol letter E and what appears to be musical quarter notes with the ‘flags’ on the notes backwards!!??
Any help with this mark would be greatly appreciated. It came from a fine old estate and is an exquisite necklace and matching earrings.
Thank you.
Tim.

Trevor

I really need help I can’t figure out the date of my watch chain its marked “MEXICAN SILVER JR” And I can’t find any info on the marking at all If someone could help I would be so great full.

MARY EIDE

I have a bracelet that is marked 925 with a DL in a circle. It has large oval links that are soldered together with very small sapphires in every other link. The links seem to be marcasite. But the back is a gold color. It seems ridiculous to put sterling over gold. If the back is brass can it still be called 925? (It isn’t tarnish). Thanks for any help.

Togzhan

Hello! I have a small gold tone elephant brooch with blue caboshon and crystals which signed “Le monde des bijoux”, “B.D.925 *395VI”. Is this a silver brooch?

Ken

Looking for help in identifying a 8+1/2 long sterling silver serving spoon. It has the marks of a Lion followed by an Anchor and then the letter C or G. Pat. 1893. Thanks for your help.

margherite tercovich

I have an older jade bar bracelet, multi colored. Marked 925 A. I know the 925 is sterling silver. Any idea what the “A” stands for? I was thinking perhaps the grade of Jade. Thank you!

Tony

Certified silver jewellery with mark helps to find out the source of jewellery along with the purity of silver. Mark also describes where the piece was made.

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