Dating antique silver
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.
This makes difficult the research of information for inexperienced people.
A false silver hallmark has always been treated with the utmost severity by the law and in the past a silversmith was pilloried for their first offence, where they would be pelted with rotten fruit and vegetables.
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.
Hallmarks are small markings stamped on gold, silver and platinum articles.
A British Hallmark means that the article has been independently tested and guarantees that it conforms to all legal standards of purity (fineness).This mark became crowned in 1478 and remained crowned until 1821.