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Georgian Sterling Silver Hallmarks - 2017-09-23

Find Out How To Identify A Beautiful Georgian Sterling Silver Piece From Their Hallmarks.

It is easy to identify a beautiful Georgian piece, we discussed Georgian jewellery and how to take care of it in a previous blog. Georgian silver pieces are often hallmarked, this was a constant practice by all silversmiths and manufacturers to assure the quality of the fabrication, guaranteeing that the sterling grade was 92.5% silver. Sterling silver is a popular gift item for any occasion, check out our collection of sterling silver itemssterling silver flatware, and sterling silver flatware online.

There are five types of marks which are present on English sterling silver:

A Date Mark

A date mark depicts the year a piece was tested. A letter of the alphabet is used, this letter is assigned to a year – acute attention should be paid as letters were used in both lowercase and capital form as well as in different shapes of punches, fonts and backgrounds. (a) in the zoomed photo of the Sterling Silver Salver shows the datemark.



Georgian Sterling Silver Salver, London, 1777, Robert James & John Schofield, mark registered 1776

A Makers Mark



The silversmith has a mark that was derived from the creator’s initials, this is the maker’s mark.

Georgian Silver Goblet, London 1811, Samuel Hennell, mark registered 1811

A Duty Mark

The duty mark is related to tax, George the third applied a silver tax in 1784 during the time of the American War of Independence. A duty mark can be found on pieces from 1784-1890. The duty mark displays the mark of the ruling sovereign and insured the buyer that there was tax paid on the piece.



Antique Georgian sterling silver wine funnel.  Hallmarked London 1819,  made by Charles Fox, of 139 Old Street, Goswell Street, London UK. 183.4 g
6 1/2" long by 4 1/8" diameter at the base.

Town Mark

The town mark sometimes referred to as the assay office shows the location where the silver was tested for its quality.

In the Georgian era silver was assayed at London, Birmingham, Chester, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, New Castle, Sheffield, Tory. Today offices are still operating from London, Birmingham, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Sheffield.

Assay Mark

The assay mark, a “lion passant”, confirms that the item has met the qualifications of sterling silver standard.



(Items not online, below is the description. Please contact us for more info.)

Pristine Georgian Sterling Silver 5 piece table garniture set. English hallmarks stamped for London in 1812. Created by Silversmith John Houle.

Priced at $29000

Please browse our site and our shop for Cynthia Findlay Antique’s great selection of Georgian silver jewellery and items

How To Clean Antique Vintage Jewellery & Engagement Rings - 2017-09-02

Care and Cleaning Tips For Your Open Backed Antique Vintage Jewellery & Engagement Ring!

Care Kit Checklist:

- mild liquid soap ( if you can find salt free, that is best)

- ammonia based jewellery or window cleaner  diamonds, sapphires, and rubies only

- small brush with soft bristles

- water

- bowl 

- lint-free soft fabric or clean eyeglass cloth

How to:

1.       Place the antique jewellery item in warm water or the ammonia based window cleaner in a bowl. Be wary of using sinks, make sure all drains are closed!

2.       While holding the antique jewellery over the bowl use the soft bristled brush, soap or cleaner to gently brush all crevices and underneath. Repeat this after rinsing if necessary.

3.       Soak your antique jewellery overnight if it is coated with dirt, then follow step two.

4.       Rinse the antique jewellery while holding it over the bowl with warm water, this will prevent losing any loose stones

5.       Dry your antique jewellery on a soft, lint free cloth or clean eyeglass cloth. Make sure to inspect the item once it is dry.

When in doubt, please contact Cynthia Findlay Antiques. Other titbits on cleaning your jewellery:

i)        Ultrasonic cleaners should not be used on any vintage or antique jewellery

ii)       Liquids should never be used on sensitive materials like hair, photographs or portrait miniatures – often these are found in vintage, antique lockets. Instead just use a cloth.

iii)      Opals, pearls, turquoise are common porous and soft gems which should only be cleaned with water and a mild liquid soap. Never soak overnight, and only immerse in liquids for a few minutes. It is important to rinse well before drying your antique opal, pearl or turquoise jewellery.

Thinking About Georgian Jewellery & How to Take Care Of It? - 2017-08-24

About Georgian jewellery & How to take care of closed backed pieces

The Georgian period persisted from 1714 to 1837, it saw the rule of five different English Kings. Georgian Jewellery is very distinguishable, and very difficult to come by.  Jewellers of the time usually set gemstones in closed back settings, and they are also known for the ornate metal work. Georgian jewellery is truly a work of art; flower, crescent, foliage, ribbons and bows were common motifs. 

One of our clients recently purchased a stunning Georgian Ring. To own a piece of Georgian Jewellery is truly like owning a piece of history, and lots of care must go into it.


This ring has a closed back where you can only see metal and are unable to see the back of the gemstones, in this case diamonds. It is a common design of Georgian Jewellers who used foiling, backing the setting with foil, to magnify the light reflection of the diamonds. Georgian jewellery must never be on your hands while in contact with water, it should never be placed in liquids. This is to prevent moisture from getting in-between the stone and mount which will spoil the foiling and the colour. Caution should be taken when wearing Georgian jewellery in rain. Instead of using water on old pieces, gold and silver treated cloths are best to use. The cloths found with eyeglasses can also be used to remove dirt and grease.

Georgian_Diamond_Ring_2 Georgian_Diamond_Ring_3

When storing Georgian jewellery, we recommend that is be stored in a soft fabric and individually so not to rub against other pieces. A dry humid-free storage area is best, but refrain from air tight plastic bags or boxes for lengthy storage times. Just like any work of art, we know that your Georgian Jewellery can last from generation to generation. Georgian Jewellery worn frequently should be checked every year by a jeweller to ensure that any loose diamonds are secured. Contact Us at Cynthia Findlay Antiques to happily to assist you with this.