Helping to Identify Gold Hallmarks

Published: 12th December 2006
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The first mark (KLd) is usually the Makers or Manufacturers mark. Sometimes it could be the Store Mark (like SH) for Samuel Hill Jewelers... This doesn't make any difference to the Hallmark so you can generally ignore it.

The next mark was an 'F' which is the Date letter.

The next is a Crown, which is the 'Quality' Mark which was introduced for 18ct and 22ct gold in 1798 and has been used ever since.

The 22 indicates the gold quality being 22 carat gold.

The last mark is a shield so I am going to assume that it was assayed in Chester UK. However each Shield is slightly different.

Now one of the MOST IMPORTANT stamps is the SHAPE of the Hallmark. Sometimes they can be oval or square. Many times with the corners cut off. These help with the Date letter 'F'.

MOST date letters come in batches of 20 and they change every 20 odd years (one letter per year). In order to identify them they can sometimes be an Uppercase - othertimes in lower case. This is where the SHAPE comes in too. This is also why I needed to know how old your Anut was when she died. Most women didn't get married until say 20. This will help you in narrowing down the date RANGE (ie: That Batch of 20 letters).

May I suggest you go to the Antique Jewelry of the 20th Century where you will find a complimentary Hallmarking Course. You will learn from very easy emails how to understand UK Hallmarks. This will finally narrow down your search to around the 1950's - Hint: 1956 Date letter is an 'F'.

By very wary of the 'SH' though as it is EXACTLY the same upside down, ie: 'HS' which is a mark for H Samuel, a high street jewelry chain in the UK.

The earlier Samuel Hennell is S.H plus you would have to look at ALL the Hallmarks together and check their overall shape to get an accurate date.

There is NO 22ct gold rings which should be scrapped unless extremely thin or worn.

The 'f' or foreign mark is a modern mark and shouldn't be confused with the full UK Hallmark.

There should always be a qualtiy stamp in any ring bought in the U.S.A. in the last 50 years. The 'C' with the circle is usually a copyright trade mark stamped in most rings. The 'A/C' has no significance other than the 'MFG' stamp.

The mark you describe could be a British registry mark. These marks were sometimes on the outside of the item instead of the usual inside marks. It's difficult to match up since there are so many - the S could stand for shefield or it could be a Registry Month Mark for 1849. These usually were inside a diamond shape or circle. You don't say whether the ring is gold or silver. You might check your local library for a book on British Registry Marks or jewelry marks. Also does the ring have a precious stone ? If so, you might take it to a gemologist for further assistance.

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