Dating english sterling silver dating nights london
The style and even the number of letters varied from office to office.
London, for example, used only a-u, Chester used the entire alphabet, and both omitted j.
Either way, the name stuck, linked to the meaning of "ster" in old German - strong, pure, stable, reliable, or excellent.
English silver was held in esteem and that respect was worth keeping.
Smaller centers used other sterling marks, such as a thistle in Edinburgh and a harp crowned in Dublin.Most British and Irish silver carries a number of stamps indicating not just the standard or purity mark (typically the lion passant) but also the initials of the maker, a date letter and the place of assay.Since hallmarking began, the leopard’s head has been used in various forms to denote the London Assay Office.The second required mark was a symbol identifying the town where the assay-office was located—for London, a lion’s head full face, in Birmingham an anchor, and in Sheffield a crown.
A third mark was the date mark, a letter of the alphabet used for the twelve-month period during which the piece was assayed.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.