Silver is one of our most precious and beautiful metals but due to its soft and pliable properties it cannot solely be used to make jewellery etc. as an alloy metal must be added to give it strength and shape. That is the reason you will see a hallmark on all sterling silver pieces of 925 meaning 75 parts of 1000 is a metal alloy. There are 5 standard marks found on British silver:
- The walking lion for all sterling silver made in England
- The standing lion for all sterling silver made in Glasgow
- The thistle for all sterling silver made in Edinburgh
- The crowned harp for all sterling silver made in Dublin
- Brittania for Brittania standard silver
Be sure to look out for these identifying marks to find where your silver items were made. You will also see on the hallmark the city where they were assayed. The city is always marked as a cipher such as an anchor for Birmingham or a crown for Sheffield and there are many others, even ones for assay offices that have long been closed which are understandably becoming more sought after. Other marks on the hallmark include a date letter and a maker’s mark. It can be fun researching the history of your silver items.