Silver collecting has become a favorite for hobbyists over the last decade or so. It is a common occurrence to look at a silver piece and find a hallmark of some type. Many pieces use pictorial signs and very little actual writing. This article will tell you how to research silver hallmarks and even give you some web sites to help in that research. When you are finished, you will be able to tell what company an item was made for, when it was made within a few years and, in many cases, who did the actual smithing of the item.
Power up your computer and allow it to completely load all programs. Access the Internet in your usual manner. Begin your search by typing in "Silver Hallmarks" in the search engine. This will bring up a page with different web sites that list silver hallmarks.
Click on some of the web sites listed to see what they contain. Some will contain pictures of pictorial hallmarks and others will contain actual words or numbers of hallmarks. Bookmark the pages that appear to be of use to you.
Search for actual words used on silver as well. The image here is on a piece of Norwegian silver signed by the designer Karl Jorgen Otteren for a client David Anderson. Search the actual words such as these for more clues to who the maker is and for whom they made the piece.
Beware of fake marks. Always make sure the marks are exactly like the ones on the actual item you are looking at. This is an image of a fake Spratling silver item. Spratling was a silversmith and had a very distinctive mark; however, this is not it!
Viewing pictorial marks are the toughest to make out. Some use initials and pictures. Your job is to find out what each picture and initial stands for. The main way to identify who a silver item was made by and for whom, is to research the pictorial and alphanumeric symbols. The web sites listed in this article will give you a good start on your research.