Dating system for elkington silver plate
It has always been difficult to determine the purity of silver in an object by visual means and many countries have tried to establish a system of ensuring that certain standards are kept to protect customers who buy silver objects.
In Britain our system developed about six hundred years ago, when laws were passed to fix the purity of silver in manufactured silver articles to be at least 925 parts of silver in every thousand parts.
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SITE MAP HOME PAGEFrom centuries British silver is protected by the stamping of symbols and letters identifying the maker, the Assay Office and the date in which the quality of the silver piece was verified.
Most of the time, you can find the answer simply by turning over the teaspoon, fish fork, ice cream saw, or cheese scoop (antique flatware is that specialized).
On the reverse side, you usually find an indented mark or series of marks that holds a wealth of information about the item -- not only what it's made of, but sometimes also where, when, and by whom it was made.
Because of its age and beauty, a piece made from coin can sometimes be worth more than American sterling.The best-known initiative is the prohibition (effective from c. 1896: Elkington was forced to change its mark in 1898) of stamping plated wares with the "crown", to avoid misunderstanding with the symbol identifying the Sheffield Assay Office. It is against the law to pass off inferior silver or silver plate as sterling silver.Historically, a smith was pilloried for their first offence and progressively draconian punishments were meted out for subsequent offences.
Provided it conforms to that standard, a series of symbols are stamped on to each separate part of each article.