Image courtesy of the Hallmark Research Institute. Polish — Poland[ edit ] The Polish hallmarks — Their job was made even more difficult due to the fact that many objects were made in the neo-styles, such as neo-gothic, neo-renaissance and neo-baroque. From to present, golden jewelry objects can be of any alloy and usually carry only the maker's mark and a purity mark. Image courtesy of the Hallmark Research Institute The purity mark is one of the first stamps to look for when inspecting jewelry. In this period, fineness was more or less standardized in the major European nations writ: Typical French maker's mark Louis Piret. King Hiero II of Syracuse gave Archimedes the assignment to investigate the purity of a newly commissioned golden wreath, believing silver was added to the gold content. A series or system of five marks has been found on Byzantine silver dating from this period, though their interpretation is stumm not completely resolved. Makers mark of the Bremer Silberwaren Fabrik. On a large percentage of antique jewelry these hallmarks are, due to various reasons, absent and estimations on the origin can only be done through careful observation and, if present, the correct interpretation of accompanying documentation.
For smaller items, as jewelry, the system is much more simplified and comprises of a mark indicating the precious metal and a maker's mark. In days gone by the people who could afford golden body ornaments were not concerned with household chores, that privilege was given to domestic servants. The most encountered hallmark on jewelry is undoubtedly the "purity" mark which indicates the total amount of gold or silver used to manufacture a coveted jewel. Especially in countries with no governmental assay offices, like the USA, the need for in-shop trained professionals in this field is required to interpret these stamps correctly. Image courtesy of the Hallmark Research Institute In most cases this stamp is struck by the manufacturer and is therefore not a hallmark in the strictest sense, although the mark needs to be registered at the assay office. Although the study of hallmarks serves as a wonderful research avocation to many involved in the antiques trade, a trained professional can, and should, put such a desired object in the proper time frame without the presence of such marks. In the Claidheamh Solais 'The Sword of Light' was struck to commemorate the golden jubilee of the rising. Purity Marks Typical 19th century Russian hallmarks. At this time, the date letter system was introduced in England. The purity was indicated in "Löthig" with 16 löthig being pure silver or gold.
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