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Marks of Gold and Silver


The date-mark on gold or silver articles is some letter of the alphabet indicating the year when the article was made. Thus, in the Goldsmith’s Company of London:—From 1716 to 1755 it was Roman capitals, beginning from A and following in succession year after year; from 1756 to 1775 it was Roman small letters, a to u; from 1776 to 1796, Roman black letters, small, a to u; from 1796 to 1815, Roman capitals, A to U; from 1816 to 1835, Roman small letters; from 1836 to 1855, Old English capitals; from 1856 to 1875, Old English, small; 1876 to 1895, Roman capitals.

The duty-mark on gold and silver articles is the head of the reigning sovereign, and shows that the duty has been paid. This mark is not now placed on watch-cases, etc.

The Hall-mark, stamped upon gold and silver articles, is a leopard’s head crowned for London; three lions and a cross for York; a castle with two wings for Exeter; three wheat sheaves or a dagger for Chester; three castles for Newcastle; an anchor for Birmingham; a crown for Sheffield; a castle and lion for Edinburgh; a tree, salmon, and ring for Glasgow; Hibernia for Dublin. (See Hall Mark, Silver.)

The Standard-mark of gold or silver is a lion passant for England; a thistle for Edinburgh; a lion rampant for Glasgow; and a harp crowned for Ireland.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Mark (St.)
Mark (Sir)
Mark Banco
Mark Tapley
Mark Time!
Mark of the Beast (The)
Mark’s Eve (St.)
Marks in Grammar and Printing
Marks of Gold and Silver
Market-penny (A)
Markham (Mrs.)
Marlborough Dog
Marmo Lunense
Maron or Marron (French)