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Dating birmingham gold
In 1478 the first permanent assayer was appointed and items had to be taken to Goldsmiths' Hall to be assayed and marked, the origin of the term "hallmarking".
A system of variable letters, changed each year when new wardens were elected, was introduced to identify when, and therefore by whom, an item had been assayed.
Hallmarking is carried out by an organisation independent of the manufacturer of the item.
Also be aware that the tables of date letters in most references are only for silver items, see Cautions about Hallmark Tables.
There is a lot of information on this page and I know it can be difficult to take it all in, so if you are struggling to understand the marks in your watch case please ask me for help via my contact me page.
Gold coins have always been the pinnacle of currency since the Roman Empire and the coins of choice for investors are still gold Sovereigns and gold Britannia coins.
At Plus Gold Refining we understand the market for investment gold and offer a wide range of gold bars and coins suitable for this purpose.
Swiss gold and silver watch cases were not hallmarked in Switzerland until hallmarks for watch cases were introduced by law in 1880.
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Before that date gold cases were usually stamped with their carat fineness by the case maker, and silver was marked with its millesimal fineness, usually 800, or sometimes just "fine silver".At first this was called the "assayer's mark" but is now commonly known as the date letter.Gold and silver watch cases submitted for hallmarking at a British assay office had first to be stamped with a mark identifying the person submitting the work, using a punch that had been previously registered at the assay office. In Europe the hallmarking of precious metal objects was, and still is, a legally required process.It involves testing and the fineness of the metal and then stamping it with control marks that show the results.This page isn't an end in itself, it is intended to help make a start on identifying the hallmarks in your watch case and then lead you to another page with more detail.On this page there is a brief description of a number of different types of hallmarks that you are likely to find in a watch case, and then for the British and Swiss marks there are links to take you to the full page of information for that type of mark.Swiss watch cases were required to be assayed and hallmarked from 1880 but the identities of Swiss watch case makers are poorly documented before 1925, after that date all Swiss gold watch cases had to be stamped with a mark that identifies the maker.There has never been a system of legally required independent hallmarking in America.Watch cases made in America carry marks stamped by their makers that were not legally mandated or controlled.These are not hallmarks; the customer relied on the manufacturer's honesty rather than legal protection.