Dating silver plate
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There is a higher standard called Britannia (95.8 %) which was introduced in 1697 to combat the melting/conversion of silver coinage into silverware.
Although the use of the Britannia silver standard was not compulsory after 1720, it is still an authorized alternative.
If you want to learn more about famous British silversmiths then click here (an ongoing project).
However the main object of silver hallmarking was and is to protect the public against fraud.
What follows here is a brief overview of silver hallmarks in England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Much of the charm and interest in British silver hallmarks lies in their variety and individuality.Certain dates were commemorated with special marks such as the present Queens Jubilee in 1977, or King George V's jubilee of 1935.This silverware again is quite collectible and starting to command a slight premium.From 1975, all the major assay offices, excluding Dublin, used the same date letter cycle starting at the same letter.
This made it a lot easier to understand but still retained as much of the interest and tradition as possible.This system probably represented the first form of consumer protection world wide.