A simple method I always use is to identify the Assay Office, which you can find by CLICKING HERE and if that mark signifies Birmingham then the letter a starts at the year 1900. This is a page of A Small Collection of Antique Silver and Objects of vertu, a 1000 pages richly illustrated website offering all you need to know about antique silver, sterling silver, silverplate, sheffield plate, electroplate silver, silverware, flatware, tea services and tea complements, marks and hallmarks, articles, books, auction catalogs, famous silversmiths (Tiffany, Gorham, Jensen, Elkington, WMF, Reed & Barton, Mappin & Webb, Bateman Family), history, oddities ... SITE MAP HOME PAGEELKINGTON HISTORY Elkington & Co.
Hallmark date information is out there on the Internet but it’s widely scattered and sometimes there are gaps.
So here’s my attempt to remedy the situation, at least where British and Scandinavian hallmarks are concerned. Of course, not all countries actually a consistent date lettering/numbering system, which is why a couple of countries – i.e.
Denmark and Norway – are missing from this list.) If you find that any of the links aren’t working, get in touch and I’ll try and find the information elsewhere.
British date letters/hallmarks Birmingham date letters 1773 – 2010: also the Birmingham assay office lets you search for a year or letter, but doesn’t give a handy table of hallmarks like does) Chester date letters 1701 – 1925: assay office closed in 1962.
Edinburgh date letters 1705 – 1999: date letters 1819 – 1896: Glasgow assay office closed in 1964.
London date letters 1558 – 2001: date letters 1702 – 1884: assay office closed in 1884.Sheffield date letters 1773 – 1999: date letters 1559 – 1858: assay office closed in 1858.Scandinavian date letters/hallmarks Finnish date letters 1810 – 2001: date letters 1759 – 1974: date letters 1879 – 2022(! Not everyone can memorise the date letters that appear on silver, yet they are so very important in dating silver items.As far as I am aware this is the first time anyone has put these on e Bay as a guide.You can used theses to determine the date of silver items by determining the similarity of the letters in the chart below and reading of the date of the hallmark.