home history and hallmarks hallmarking early-silver-hallmarks the download centre the laboratory jewellery-market-trends training and education latest news blog contact
History & Hallmarks
visit our heritage blog
History and Hallmarks
The Foundation of The Birmingham Assay Office
Birmingham Assay Office Statutory History
The Building, Business and The Trade
Birmingham Assay Office in 21st Century
Current Hallmark Symbols
Convention Marks
Commemorative and Other Marks
Date Letters
Mixed Metals
Silver Collection Public Visits
Access to the Archive and Library

Date Letters 1773 to 2014

The date letters below show the background shape for silver. The same letters were used for Gold, which has been marked in Birmingham since 1824, but with a background of a square with cut corners. There may be some variations in backgrounds during the late 19th century, especially on watch cases.

In Birmingham the date letter changes in July up to 1974. From 1975, all Assay offices have the same date letter.

Depending upon the font used for the series of date letters, the letter i, j or l is usually omitted to avoid any possible confusion between them. As a result the date letter cycle is usually 25 years as opposed to 26. For example, due to the very simplistic font currently in use, it was decided that the letter ‘i’ should be omitted in 2008, with ‘j’ used instead and ‘l’ used in 2010.

Gold was marked in Birmingham from 1824. The date letters for gold are on the background.

date letters 1773 - 1805 date letters - 1806 - 1845 date Letters 1846 - 1886 1887 - 1927 1928 - 1970 1971 - 2014