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History & Hallmarks
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 Group Visits

Commemorative and other Marks

Commemorative Marks

Special Marks to commemorate significant national  events may also be added to a hallmark if a sponsor chooses. The Millennium Mark to celebrate the year 2000 was very popular; it was applied to over 5 million articles of jewellery and silverware. The most recent commemorative mark was to honour the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002.

There are other marks to commemorate special events, the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary in 1935, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and her Silver Jubilee in 1977.

Silver Jubilee
1935
Coronation
1953
Silver Jubilee
1977
Millenium Mark
Golden Jubilee
2002
 

Duty Marks

The mark of the sovereign’s head does not appear in all hallmarks, but if it does, it will tell you that the item was marked during a year when duty was levied on gold and silver by the Crown.

Duty marks will appear on items marked at the Birmingham Assay Office from 1784
until 1890.

The outlines of these marks may vary, and often the old punches were used for some time after each sovereign’s death.

George III
1784 - 1820



1784 - 6 only





1797 only when duty was doubled





1787 - 1796
1798 - 1819


George IV

1820 - 1830

   

William IV

1830 - 1837


Victoria

1837 - 1890






The outlines of these marks may vary.

Import Marks

From 1867 until 1904, this symbol was used to indicate that an item was of foreign manufacture. It was used in addition to the appropriate British Hallmark.


From 1904 until 1998, the following symbols were used to indicate that an item was of foreign manufacture.


Standard Marks

From 1773 to 1974, sterling silver was marked with this symbol.

The outline may vary

Prior to 1975 Britannia silver was marked with this symbol.

The outline may vary

From 1798 to 1974, the 18 carat standard of gold was indicated as follows



From 1844 to 1974, the 22 carat standard of gold was indicated as follows



From 1975 to 1998, pictorial standard marks were used either alone or in combination with the figure of parts per thousand (millesimal mark) as follows

Silver

British sterling silver

The outline may vary

Imported sterling silver

British Britannia silver

The outline may vary

Imported Britannia Silver


Gold

British Gold

Imported Gold


Platinum

British platinum

Imported platinum


Optional Pictorial Marks

From 1999, the following pictorial marks have been optional and can be added to the figure of parts per thousand (millesimal mark) as follows.

Sterling Silver


Britannia Silver


Gold


Platinum


Please note that older items may have hallmarks that do not fit any of these categories. If you cannot identify your mark, please contact Birmingham Assay Office at
history@theassayoffice.co.uk