Dating silver plate

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The marks on the bottom of a piece of silver can be an indication of the age, maker, and origin of the piece.

One of the most highly structured hallmarking systems in the world is that of the United Kingdom, (Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland), and Ireland.A silver object that is to be sold commercially is, in most countries, stamped with one or more silver hallmarks indicating the purity of the silver, the mark of the manufacturer or silversmith, and other (optional) markings to indicate date of manufacture and additional information about the piece.In some countries, the testing of silver objects and marking of purity is controlled by a national assayer's office.The earliest silversmiths in the colonies used their initials.Many makers used their last name, or first initial and last name. They were meant to mislead the public into believing that the silver was of English origin.

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