Dating elkington silver plate
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.
Therefore, by debasing silver or gold, the offender was undermining the coin of the realm.
A treasonable offence in times when treason was punished by death.
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Scottish hallmarks have been regulated by statute since 1457 but the earliest known example dates only from 1556 to 1557.
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Used from the inception of the Sheffield Assay Office in 1773 , the Crown was the town mark of Sheffield.
Because of possible confusion with the Crown mark used after 1798, (as the hallmark for 18ct gold), the Sheffield assay mark was changed on January 1st 1975 for a rose.
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