The statute made it the responsibility of the Wardens of the Goldsmiths' Guild to mark all items of sterling standard with a leopard's head stamp.The first hallmarking was confined to Goldsmiths’ Hall in London but in time other assay offices were opened.Most sponsors' marks take the form of initials surrounded by a shield design – this is important, as many different sponsors may have the same initials.Other hallmarks, like commemorative or duty marks, can also provide clues to help you date your object.In bygone days fraudulent activities in hallmarking silver and gold were punished with death, but the penalty it is still significant today (till ten years of prison).
Hallmarking of silverware represents one of the first Quality Assurance System adopted by man.It is formed of initials of that person or company inside a shield shape. We mark a piece to the lowest standard of alloy content, so it guarantees that the quality of the article is no less than the fineness indicated.The shield shape varies, and a minimum of two initials must be included. When you create your punch with us, you join a register of makers stretching back centuries. The shape of the surrounding shield indicates metal type.Between 17 a little crown was positioned above the date letter; between 18 a crown of a bigger dimension was positioned on the right side of the date letter.Exceptions are marks for 1834 (date letter on the left side and impressed with its base towards the crown) and 18 (date letter on the right of the crown, and crown impressed with its base toward the letter).