Portuguese Hallmark with Deer and. Solving the intriguing riddle posed by the marks stamped onto a piece of jewelry involves the use of a variety of skills and a wealth of knowledge. At its most basic, we can usually easily identify the type of jewelry i.
Jewelry mirrors time, culture, and societal values. It reflects the taste and attitude of every period in history. There are definitely clues that can be used in deciphering how old your jewelry is.
A Maker's Mark is a unique stamp placed on jewelry and watches to ensure the authenticity of the manufacturer. These stamps are typically made up of the manufacturers initials, name, or another unique representative symbol. Identifying this mark is the first step in determining the value of a piece of jewelry.
Things we might think are so valuable can be worth mere dollars, and others that look like a simple chain are worth thousands. One of the first things you can do when you acquire a new piece of jewelry is to look for hallmarks. These markings are usually located on the clasp of a necklace, the inside of a ring or bracelet, or the post of an earring. Common gold hallmarks include 18K, 14K, 10K,
Hallmarks are small impressions, struck in jewelry by official assay offices which serve as a type of consumer protection. Once a specific mark was impressed in the metal, the assay office would guarantee the fineness of the material used. Bigorne is a two-horned or beaked anvil with both a flat and a rounded striking area.
This guide provides both vintage and contemporary collectible jewelry marks, and includes dating information if known. Links to examples of each designer or manufacturer's jewelry are included below the mark when available. NOTE: Some information included with photos in this gallery ChanelCinerand others will link to a sub-article where numerous marks from different time periods for the same company or designer can be viewed.
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I especially like the elaborate handmade styles like Miriam Haskell. You can look for marks, but frequently the jewelry only bears the mark of the company they worked for. However, if you do find the marks, this list below of over vintage jewelry and metal designers may help you identify how old they are. This list is sorted alphabetically and by country.
Or you found some nice vintage jewelry at a yard or garage sale or at the thrift shop. Whether you plan to keep the jewelry as a family heirloom or would like to resell it, a knowledge of vintage jewelry marks will help you to identify and date it properly. Purity marks for older silver pieces can differ from those commonly seen today. Patent numbers are especially helpful when dating older vintage jewelry, and will be covered in a separate article in this series.