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05-Jan-2020 11:19

Silver pieces imprinted with a lion denotes 92.5 percent silver — thus sterling silver — while the Britannia mark means that it has 95.8 percent pure silver.Starting in 1838, an eagle’s head stamped on a piece of gold jewelry indicated that the jewelry was from France and that it had a minimum of 18k gold.Today’s standards are regulated by the Hallmarking Act of 1973.

Many of these symbols and letters found on jewelry originate from assay offices.

An important year to know if you’re collecting French antique jewelry is the year 1797, when it was required to have a maker’s mark framed within a lozenge, a diamond-shaped charge that is often placed on the field of a shield.