Dating gold hallmarks guide

The Guild is the only professional organization in Australia with a traditional and comprehensive system of marking precious metal items.Guild Members’ names and marks are permanently recorded, they abide by set standards of material, their work is clearly identified as genuinely made in Australia, and the date of manufacture can be recorded.If they offended again, a limb would be hacked off and, until the 1720’s, the death penalty was the usual sentence meted out to persistent offenders.There was a simple reason for this seemingly Draconian behaviour in that the manufacture of silver and gold was allied to the minting of currency.In 1638 a date letter system was introduced and used in conjunction with the above marks.

dating gold hallmarks guide-1

A silver object that is to be sold commercially is, in most countries, stamped with one or more silver hallmarks indicating the purity of the silver, the mark of the manufacturer or silversmith, and other (optional) markings to indicate date of manufacture and additional information about the piece.This is to ensure it is of the required sterling silver standard and, provided it conforms to a standard, a series of symbols are stamped into each part of the item.Today and for the past few centuries, this stamp or silver hallmark has shown the place and year of manufacture of the assayed silver item, as well as the silversmith who made or sponsored the item.Through three and a half centuries the Goldsmiths Company has afforded a high degree of consumer protection.In 1988 a group of manufacturing jewellers, aware of the traditions and a need for a higher degree of consumer protection in the precious metals industry, instigated and formed The Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia.