What you need to know about jewelry hallmarks

Buying antique or vintage jewelry means first figuring out what it is, where and when it was made, and by whom. That’s why the first thing an experienced buyer will do is hold a piece up to a loupe and examine it for hallmarks. If jewelry has hallmarks and they appear authentic, identifying its value is a whole lot easier.

But many countries – including the U.S. – do not have an official hallmarking system and the hallmarks of one country can vary dramatically from another. How does a budding collector begin to unravel this puzzle?

A trusted dealer can help but if you want to learn to identify jewelry on your own, you’ll need a good guide. There are a few books on the market, but if you want the ultimate, illustrated reference book, be prepared to shell out a couple hundred bucks for World Hallmarks, Volume I: Europe, 19th to 21st Centuries, due out in its second printing this month. As co-author Danusia Niklewicz puts it, “This book will pay for itself with one correctly identified piece.”

I recently spoke to Niklewicz and William Whetstone, who compiled this tome with fellow appraiser Lindy Matula, about the basics of hallmark identification.

Is it common for people to confuse a maker’s mark with a hallmark?

Danusia Niklewicz: Yes, especially in the U.S. where we don’t hallmark goods. On our website people can send in questions about hallmarks and many times we receive maker’s marks instead of hallmarks. People think any maker’s mark is a hallmark and that becomes a problem. Maker’s marks aren’t nearly as well documented as hallmarks.

Many countries don’t offer lists of registered makers or their marks. Even in the U.S. and Canada, there is no requirement to register one’s mark. As a result, there is nowhere to research the identity of a signature or mark. You will only find hallmarks on jewelry made in countries that have laws that require independent testing of metal fineness and that document their makers marks with an official stamp – a government stamp or an independent lab stamp – indicating the results of such testing.

William Whetstone: In many places, especially Europe, it’s required that a maker register their mark at a hallmarking or assaying office so it can be tracked. In most European countries, a secondary system is set up where the assay office tests the pieces and puts their stamps on it to indicate that it was verified by an independent body. It’s similar to gem certification. Most people buying an expensive diamond today want a certificate issued by an independent organization like the GIA. Just like these certified diamonds that are laser-inscribed on the girdle of the diamond with the cert number, a hallmarked item is marked with the results of the testing.


Russian hallmark and maker’s mark

So what kind of assurance am I getting with a maker’s mark?

Whetstone: A maker’s mark can be the manufacturer, the company that sponsored the piece to be made, or the individual craftsman. In any case, whoever is marked on the piece takes the responsibility for it. In countries where they don’t even mark their pieces, the importer becomes the responsible party. Really, a hallmark is about the most important means of consumer protection within the precious metals. In other words, if you’re a maker and you stamp something 18kt, you take responsibility. You’re guaranteeing that it’s 18kt.

Niklewicz: In most European countries, including France and Great Britain, an item is not legal for sale without a hallmark. Germany doesn’t have hallmarking, but it’s the exception. A few countries, like Austria and Norway, have optional hallmarking. Italy doesn’t require hallmarking but it has better registration of the maker, a specific number, so what you see as an Italian mark was placed there by the maker. It’s a little more formal than any other maker’s voluntary marking.


Italian maker’s mark

Does that mean I’m safe buying jewelry made in Italy?

Whetstone: Not necessarily. I think it’s easy to recognize Italian marks but you don’t have the same protection or guarantee unless an item is hallmarked. There was a notoriously famous chain that marked their jewelry 18kt on one side and “Italy” on the other. “Italy” is not a guarantee. So you find the 18kt gold chain you bought is only 14kt gold. Who do you hold responsible? The merchant you bought it from can say, “It’s not my fault. It doesn’t have my trademark on it.” This goes on all the time. Under-karating is rampant in North America.

It’s caveat emptor here?

Whetstone: We were talking to assay masters at a conference in Geneva and they privately say they laugh at the consumer protection system within the U.S. because there is no policing of this.

Niklewicz: The U.S. is missing out on a huge European market because we don’t have the standards they demand. They consider our products generally inferior.

Whetstone: Tiffany & Co. sends jewelry to London to have it hallmarked so they can sell it on the European market. Most jewelry makers don’t realize how fast and inexpensive it is to have jewelry hallmarked now, given modern technology. If you’re selling something for $1,000 or more and it only costs $10 to get it hallmarked, that’s a worthwhile investment. You can also get volume discounts.


French maker’s mark

What can I learn from hallmarks if I’m collecting estate or antique jewelry made in France or other parts of Europe?

Whetstone: In some countries, hallmarks can tell you what city and what year a piece was made. At the very least, they allow you to figure out the country of origin and that’s really important. Somebody recently sent me a picture of an Art Deco piece they thought was French. It wasn’t. It was Egyptian. It was extremely well made. There were a lot of talented craftsmen in Egypt during 1920s who came from France and England and were doing very fine work. But this person thought the piece came from France. Does it make a difference in value if a piece is French Art Deco instead of Eyptian Art Deco? Yes, a big difference.

Does understanding hallmarks mean I can buy antique jewelry on eBay – or is it best to avoid that?

Whetstone: eBay is a viable market, providing you’ve done your research to make sure what you’re looking at is correct. I buy on eBay. One problem with buying on eBay is that I consistently see stuff that is just wrong. I informed a seller recently that something advertised as “made in the 1700s” was actually made in the 1930s in Czechoslovakia. In many cases, mistakes like that are innocent and they thank me and take it down. But that is why you have to read and do your homework before buying.

Want to learn more about evaluating old jewelry? Check out Bill and Danusia’s site, Hallmark Research Institute.

137 comments for “What you need to know about jewelry hallmarks

  1. barbara neiman
    June 13, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    I am always interested in information about hallmarks it is a subject that many so called professional jewelers simply ignore. thank you for your input

  2. Jacqueline Bower
    September 18, 2010 at 3:53 am


    I was wondering if by chance you know what jeweler had a hallmark of an arrow with a C through it?
    It is on a pair of my grandfathers platinum and diamond cufflinks from the 1920’s. Not sure how much they are worth.

    Thanks so much, Jackie

  3. Cathleen McCarthy
    September 18, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Hi Jackie, the experts interviewed here might be willing to have a look for you. If you send a pic, I’d be happy to pass it on.

  4. Maggy
    September 25, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Hi I would like to know what date is the russian silver hallmark that you show on your site. With head 875 mark as I have a teapot with the exact same mark even with the little H at side of the head. Thanks for your help in advance

  5. April 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    This is very interesting to me and I am always intrigued with European Hallmarks. However, as a contemporary jewelry designer, I would like to have the potential for my work to be recognized after my demise. I have a Hallmark which I stamp on every piece, but am wondering what would be the American version of registering this hallmark?

  6. April 15, 2011 at 7:26 am

    Hello Everyone,

    Thank you Cathleen for drawing our attention to the comments above. We have offer a reply to each, below…

    In reply to Jacqueline Bower,
    There are a few variations to a C with an arrow through it. These are known as trademarks, it is not a hallmark. Though a photo would be helpful to know which trademark you are seeing, we do not specialize on identifying trademarks. Sorry we cannot be of more help.

    In reply to Maggy,
    If the hallmark that you have has the same shovel shape outline as the one in our picture, and is on a normal sized silver teapot (definitely weighing over 10 grams) then there is a good indication that the item was marked within the time span of 1954 to 1958. The core image represents the Soviet worker, head facing right with a cap on his head and a hammer over his right shoulder, used from the years 1927 to 1958. The shovel shape and the piece it is marked on narrows the dates to the 1954 to 1958, mentioned above. The small H in the lower left corner, for this time period, indicates that the assay office that struck the hallmark was located in the town of Tallinn which was under Soviet Russian rule at the time, but is now independent Estonia. Hope that helps!

    In reply to Barbara Klar,
    If I understand your question correctly, you have your maker’s mark which is your brand, your logo, your trademark – they are all one in the same. That is not a hallmark and it is important to know the difference. The mark of the maker represents the person or company responsible for the design/creation/manufacture of the item and is responsible for the metal content of that piece, as well. A hallmark is the independent verification of that metal content, protecting the consumer by assay testing the metal, thus proving or disproving the fineness claim made by the maker. A hallmark is a separate stamp from the trademark. While there is no hallmarking regulations in the United States, countries that do hallmark generally require a precious metal item be submitted for hallmarking before it can legally be offered for sale.
    A hallmark can offer more information, not only on the metal purity of the item but can indicate where the item was marked, the country and possibly even the city. It may offer the date of hallmarking (generally near the time the piece was completed), and, in some cases, can even show an indication of the weight of the item which can be helpful to know if the item had been altered over time.
    Now to address your question! To be sure that your trademark is recognized as yours for years to come, it will be important to register your trademark with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office. Be sure that it is a mark that you will like enough to keep forever (changing an established trademark is not recommended.) Then offer your maker’s mark (trademark) to the various websites that list maker’s marks. Post it on your website and list it with any websites that offer maker mark identification. There are several sites that list older maker’s marks and a few that list contemporary marker’s marks.
    Hope that helps, and good luck!

    Danusia Niklewicz

  7. Cathleen McCarthy
    April 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Thanks so much for weighing in, Danusia!

  8. April 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Thankyou Danusia: This helps clarify. What are the websites that offer maker mark identification? Recently, I was surprised to see a piece of mine listed on ebay which showed my maker’s mark in a close-up photo and listed me as the maker. Obviously, the information is out there but I would like to take the opportunity to list my contemporary maker’s mark on these sites. Best, Barbara

  9. May 3, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Dear Barbara,

    Sorry for the delay, I have been out of town.
    I just checked the links to several websites that offered signature information and two were GONE! The other two websites are the Bob Mitchell site that has designer marks. While he has artist signatures and trademarks listed as hallmarks, it really is the only site for crafts people to list their info left! http://www.artguidesource.com

    The other one was developed by an appraiser, Gina D’Onofrio, who is collecting them from all over to help other appraisers. http://www.jewelrymarkphotos.com

    Last, be sure to register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. That will guarantee you will have your name listed with your mark, forever.

    Good luck!

  10. May 3, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Danusa: Thankyou! I will follow through on the information you provided, I so appreciate it! Best, Barbara

  11. June 14, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this fantastic blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will talk about this website with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

  12. Cathleen McCarthy
    June 14, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Okay, that does it. I’m adding a donate button! :)

  13. Stacy Stine
    July 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    My fiance’s father died a couple of weeks ago and we were going through his jewelry box and came across a ring that was gold with a monogram of his great grandfather’s initials and on the inside were his and his wife’s initials and a number 4 and on it’s righthand side was an up pointing arrow with a horizontal base line. They were the first generation to come to the states from Norway, so it could very easily be a scandanavian mark, but I just can’t find it aywhere. Any thoughts?

  14. July 22, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Dear Stacy,

    You may have a hallmark but most likely it is a trademark. The old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” applies here very well. We can spend a lot of time speculating but if you can take a sharp, close up picture and send to us via our website or upload it to a public site and share the link here, we may be able to give you more information.

    For everyone else following this blog, here are two links to add to your resources that you may find interesting. The first is a great site… center4jewelrystudies.org. Started by Christie Romero, it is a plethora of information. For those of you that love to look at marks, a fabulous site that is very informational for silver marks is 925-1000.com. These are both worthy of bookmarking and good to reference often.

    Keep hallmark hunting!



  15. Stacy Stine
    July 22, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    sorry to say we are back in Florida and didn’t think to take a picture while we were there, but I’ll see if someone back at the house can take a picture. We actually drew it on a piece of paper and tried using that new smartphone app where you take a picture and it brings you to websites on the net that apply, but nothing came up. Thanks for the quick response, I’ll be back as soon as I can get a picture.

  16. Dora Alice
    September 21, 2011 at 8:35 am

    I have a cuff bracelet with an emerald in the center and 4 small leaves that I assume are either platinum or white gold; the rest of the bracelet is 18k. The hallmarks on either side of the opening for the wrist have me stumped. One says 750 and I know that is the European hallmark for 18k. However, what is 1 2 9 V I? Those numbers are inside a symbol that looks as if you joined 2 triangles sideways. By that I mean they would have the pointy peak of one triangle facing left and the other facing to the right. Then, remove the line between the 2 triangles. Finally, if you are not totally confused, the pointy parts of the triangles, are kind of squared. A simpler way to explain it, is take the page of a magazine (Time for instance) and cut off a triangle from each of the 4 corners. That is the shape of the symbol around the mystery numbers of 129 V I. By the way, The ‘I’ looks like a straight vertical line and does not have the top and bottom like the capital I I’ve typed. If it helps, my grandfather was a jeweler in Brazil in the 1950s and a lot of what he sold came from Italy.Thank you and sorry for the confusing question.

  17. September 30, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Hello Dora,

    You had me at the first mention of 129 VI!

    While there is no official hallmarking in Italy at this moment, Italian maker’s have long held the practice of marking their pieces with a stamp that holds their register number and the district where their shop is located or is registered.

    Your piece has this classic maker’s mark. The 129 stands for an Italian manufacturer – Narciso Rigoni which, according to the only guide we have on Italian makers dating back 1993, no longer is in business. The VI stands for the district of Vincenza in Italy.

    If your piece had platinum on it, you would have a mark for it. So chances are the white metal is white gold or a rhodium plating on that particular area.

    Hope that helps.

    Danusia Niklewicz


  18. October 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Is there a register that identifies all the jewlery factories in italy. I am interested in identifying a bracelet with the VI 13. I know VI stand for Vicenza because I was station there with the U.S. Army however; the 13 I have no idea. In the previous letter identified 129 as Narciso Rigoni. I am also looking for AAA or AAAA or Adragna Antonio’ (Vicenza) factory hallmark registration.

    Thank you,


  19. January 3, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Excellent Post on jewelry hallmarks. I like to know more on some jewelries. Would you like to tell me something on Vintage Jewellery, Fashion Jewellery, Designer Costume Jewellery, Handmade Jewelry Israeli Jewelry, romantic jewelry, handcrafted jewelry, sterling silver, online jewelry store.
    I known something on Canadian Fashion, Handmade and Israeli Jewelry and like it most.

  20. Cathleen McCarthy
    January 3, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks, Sharon. I don’t know if I can cover all that but I’ll keep your suggestions in mind. There’s so much ground to cover here and obvious interest from readers of this blog. Follow-up coming soon.

  21. Cathy Beck
    February 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    As I am designing a line of jewelry, it was recommended by the American manufacturer that I obtain a Hallmark. I am having trouble finding out how to go about this process and wonder if to do so, all of my items must be shipped overseas to have it stamped or if by applying and obtaining a hallmark my manufacturer can stamp the pieces (they have their own, but I believe it is a trademark only). Please clarify for me! Thank you, Cathy B.

  22. February 2, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Dear Cathy,

    Unfortunately, here in the United States we do not have hallmarking. Thus there is often the erroneous interchange of the terms “hallmark” and “trademark,” and often they are consider as being one and the same. Just as you learned, they are not the same.
    Hallmarking results from, as described above, the legally imposed independent testing of a precious item and the subsequent striking of that fineness in a special format, generally unique to the hallmarking country. By law, the item could not be offered for sale without such a hallmark in such countries.
    Here, our laws are much more lenient and place the burden of accuracy of the fineness claim on the maker. In the USA and Canada, an item of precious metal that has a fineness mark on it must have that mark accompanied by a maker’s mark (also correctly called a trademark, sponsor’s mark, or responsibility mark), so that if the item fell short of it’s claimed purity or fineness (underkarated), there would be the trademark of those responsible.
    Essentially, the person advising you is asking you to create your ‘mark,’ or as you have already figured out, a trademark. It is just as important, here, to create your trademark A trademark will be identified with your style as a brand name, which works in your favor as time goes on and you gain more recognition.
    Trademarks are not a simple task. You must devise a design that you will be happy with for years to come, make it simple enough to mark in a small area (like inside ring shank), and then present it to the patent and trademark office of this government. It may be worth your time and sanity to have a trademark attorney handle all the paperwork for you.
    Whatever you choose to do, good luck in you endeavors! Hope this has helped to clear things up for you.

  23. Lydia Madrid
    February 8, 2012 at 3:02 am

    Hi, I just inherited my grandmothers diamond cocktail ring. Inside the wide band on the ring is 14kt and a cursive Letter L with a star sitting on the L bottom portion. I would love to know if its old & where it came from?. How do I go about looking this up?

  24. Danusia
    February 12, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Dear Lydia,

    What you have is a mark of the maker, or better known as a trademark, not a hallmark. In the United States, unless the company has registered their trademark, there is no official or easy means of tracing such a mark. Even several of the resources that I have listed above have since disappeared. It is a thankless and laborious job to document markers and their marks, and no one wants to do it.
    With that said, Heritage Galleries is a resource I have not listed yet, http://fineart.ha.com/ref/hallmarks.zx. They have recorded a vast amount of maker’s marks from items that have pasted through their auctions, and they should be around for awhile! Try them.

    Good luck in your pursuit!



  25. February 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Dear ?

    February 12, 2012

    I was recently gifted piece of jewelry made by Salvador Dali. It is an 18 carat gold pendant of entitled “Ama de Llaves”, and was purchased from a certified jeweler in Mijas Spain by my father in 1993; he paid $459.00 USD for it. I seem to find it in scuplture form on-line, but not in necklace form? It has authentication paperwork that came with it, and a credit card-like piece with the Dali logo and name of the piece on it.

    Dad (90 now) told me to sell it, but I am having difficulty locating it anywhere, except for the sculpture?

    Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Meg Hallbourg

  26. EC
    February 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I have a gold bracelet with beautiful rhinestone work that I got at an estate sale. Looks to be from 1930-50’s?? There is a cursive W on back, the only mark on it. Does anyone know this mark? Thank you for any advice.

  27. Deborah
    February 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Hi..I have an 18k fleur di lis bracelet (approx. 8 panels) with the marking B&C on the clasp. Does anyone know who the manufacturer is? The bracelet seems to be approx 100 years old. Thank you.

  28. Lori West
    March 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Hi, my friend has some jewelry from her grandmother from Italy – she thinks it’s from the 60s – one ring is aquamarine and diamond, with gold leaves surrounding it. It is marked “LN”. I have a photo: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v58/somegirrl/ring_LN.jpg .

    I would love it if anyone could tell me any info. THANK YOU!!!

  29. Lisa Hesmondhalgh
    May 9, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    Although I’ve done what research I can on the Internet, I’m now faced with a jeweler who assures me that bespoke (made to order) jewelry items in the UK have never been required to have hallmarks. The pieces I’m looking at seem to be from the 1800’s but there aren’t maker’s marks either. Only engraved initials inside. And I know there’s one born every minute. When you have time, could you share a smidgeon of expertise? Many thanks!

  30. May 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    It seems I am behind in responding to all the requests here. Let’s see if I can help some with EC or Deborah.

    It is important to understand that while there is traceable documentation for hallmarks (independent testing and marking of precious metal objects with fineness and country marks), there are many countries that do not keep record of marks of the maker (trademarks).

    The United States does not require independent testing or hallmarking of precious metal items, nor does it have any formal registration of the marks of the maker unless they have gone through the expensive process of filing for a registered trademark with the US Government’s Trademark and Patent Office.

    While I would like to help all of you that seek identification of the maker’s marks in your items, it can be very time consuming to sift through the various resources available. We do offer researching but at a fee as most professional do.

    Should you enjoy the search, some books that we recommend for researching of trademarks are the very books that are listed above in the Amazon Book Offerings. Books by Rainwater, Jackson, JCK and others are all helpful. If you do not want the expense of purchasing all those books, your local library may have them available as well.

    Good luck on your quests!



  31. May 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Dear Meg,

    The writer and moderator of this article and blog has written a wonderful piece on Dali jewelry. http://thejewelryloupe.com/salvador-dali-bejeweled-surrealism/

    My suggestion would be to consult with an auction house that has an international market. They maybe able to give you an idea of rarity and possible auction value. The also know of galleries or jewelry salons that may be purchasing such items if you choose not to sell at auction.

    Good luck!


  32. May 24, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Dear Lisa,

    Just to be sure there was not something missed, I asked an authority, Michael Allchin, at the Birmingham Assay Office. He states that prior to 1975, items that were exempt were rings other than wedding rings, all platinum items, articles consisting entirely of filigree work, and articles so heavily engraved or set with stones that it is impossible to mark them without damage.

    After the Act of 1973, into force as of 1975, all articles of platinum over 0.5g; gold over 1g; silver over 7.78g must hallmarked, including bespoke/one of a kind pieces of jewellery.

    Hope that helps! (Thank you, Michael!)


  33. Cathleen McCarthy
    May 24, 2012 at 1:07 am

    Danusia, thank you so much, once again. You’ve added so much to this discussion.

    Meg, the Dalí piece you’re describing sounds like something you should have appraised by an expert. The one who comes to mind is Audrey Friedman, owner of Primavera Gallery in NYC and of the ruby lips brooch pictured on the post Danusia linked to. If you can’t get to NYC, it might be worth having a good photograph taken of the piece (and a closeup of the marks) and contacting the gallery.

    Good luck, all.

  34. Annette
    June 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I have a square emerald layered cut azure blue stone in a 14k setting. There is a halmark after the 14k of a 3d diamond shape with what apears to be 3 circles withint. On the oter side of the ring is a makers mark within a square that appears to be two wavey lines at the top with another set of lines that appear to be a scripted letter L.

    Is it true that a hallmark of a diamond shape is usually for diamond mounted settings? If so, this would be a blue diamond surrounded by at least 6 white diamonds. I have never seen such a brilliant cut before and it once belongs to a lady of about 85 years of age.

    How do I send a photo of this ring and the markings?
    Gods Blessings to you,

  35. Annette
    June 18, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    additional note: This is in a white 14k gold setting.

  36. Anne Rene'
    September 17, 2012 at 1:31 am

    I am trying to find out of there is a website that shows designer trademarks for fine jewelry. I have some 18k gold jewelry I want to find out whose work it is prior to selling it.

  37. September 17, 2012 at 9:08 am

    While the National Stamping Act requires any claim of quality must be accompanied by a responsibility mark (the mark of the person responsible for the claim of metal fineness), from experience, there are many pieces of jewelry that are traded daily that are not properly marked with a responsibility mark, or any other mark aside from the fineness mark. Of those that do have a responsibility mark, it is a good guess that less than 40% of those are REGISTERED TRADEMARKS(through the US Trademark and Patent Office). Of those remaining responsibility marks that are not registered, think of them as mom and pop stores, new designers, talented goldsmiths all that have much more on their minds than spending the time and money registering the marks they use to stamp their creations. So it then is the tireless efforts of dealers, retailers, appraisers who actually care enough to take the time to note what they see that may have a listing of mark and maker. These are scattered on various websites but none are complete. Comprehensive coverage is impossible without the motivation of the maker to send in their marks to some central source. So we, on the receiving end (vs the conception end) are left to search with the hopes that somewhere the maker has their mark listed.
    With that all said (and it seems that we have repeated ourselves many times!), there are places to check for your 18k gold marks, but none are complete.
    You can check the Art Guide Source – Bob Mitchell started a registry where contemporary designers can list their trademarks for brand recognition. You can start there.
    Heritage Auctions – Heritage Auctions began documenting the marks on items (mostly silver) that have passed through their galleries for years. They have put the vast collection on line in a search engine that is quite useful.
    AppraisersUnderOath.com has the only jewelry trademark search engine that pulled its data from the US Patent & Trademark Office. It is fee based and a bit hard to navigate through.
    WorthPoint.com boasts a mark’s database that we have not reviewed yet. It is also fee based.
    So as you can see, there are resources to search through but in simple answer to your question, no there is no single place to go to see gold maker’s marks.
    Good luck in your searching!

    Hallmark Research Institute

  38. Kaylee
    November 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I was looking at a necklace that I recieved as a gift. It is a gold necklace and i was trying to figure out whether it is authentic or not. The clasp says 14K on it and it alos has a mark that looks like a triangle with an extra line parallel to the right side. I can’t find much online so maybe you guys could help? Thank you!

  39. Maria
    December 19, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Hi, I have one gold box maybe from 300 years ago, and I´d like so much to identify who did it(hallmark and real period it has done). It has in front of it one ” s” in the midle since me one big hammer and maybe one Y or something like it. In the left side has 2 circles and inside it has draw but I can´t know what means. I have many photos and I can send them for you if necessary. Please, can you help me? I have been trying to find something for a long, long time. Since now, my regards, and thank you very much for your atention.

  40. December 19, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Dear Maria,

    You are more than welcome to send large clear images to us for review. There may be a fee if the research is time consuming but without images there is nothing that can be done. The small nuances’ that occur in the design of these hallmarks can lead in one direction or another, so a visual reference is important.
    Go to our website and connect to us there.

  41. Maria
    December 20, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    I am really grateful because now maybe I´ll have the answers that I have looking for these last 10 years. I will go to Hallmark Research Intitute website. One time more thanks very much for this opportunity
    and THANK YOU Cathleen because of your site I will be able to find the right direction. My regards,

  42. Wanda Goldfarb
    January 19, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Hello – I have been searching online for the meaning of 14K HD which I found stamped on an old gent’s ring. Does this mean some sort of plating? I can’t find any information on the web. Thanks for any information you may have.

  43. Janet Taylor
    February 5, 2013 at 2:40 am

    Where can i send a picture of a cameo brooch i have to find out some info about the piece?

  44. Evanna
    February 15, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    I have a wedding band/engagement ring that is 10K and diamonds and has a star inside with a capital T inside of the Star. Can you tell me what Hallmark that is please? Thank you. Evanna

  45. February 15, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Wanda – HD most likely is a maker’s mark. Generally, IF an item is going to be marked by the manufacturer to reveal that it is plated, it most likely would have initials like GP (gold plate), GF (gold filled – popular for its durability, first used nearly 200 yeas ago), GEP or EP (gold electroplate) often accompanied with a fractional number like 1/20 12k to explain the amount of 12k gold to base metal by weight. Some plate is by microns in which the symbol for microns would follow a number like 2 or 3. This is just a general guide for items manufactured in North America. Each country in Europe have their own method of marking plated materials, e.g. the UK uses EPNS for nickel silver electroplate.

    Janet – The Antique Jewelry University at http://www.langantiques.com/university/ is a fabulous place to learn about jewelry. If your cameo is of age, you may find some interesting information there or at least from which you can begin your research.

    Evanna – Most likely your mark is a trademark and if you have read much of the above replies, there is no one source for looking for trademarks. Look to my previous replies for places to start your research.

    Hope that helps!
    Hallmark Research Institute

  46. andrew
    March 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    I bought a ring and the hallmark is a star 34 or 84(hard to tell) AR and . I believe this is made in Italy Arezzo region, but cant find makers mark info. If could help would be appreciated. Thanks

  47. andrew
    March 28, 2013 at 11:32 pm


    I recently bought a ring with the hallmarks star 34 or 84 ( hard to tell ) AR . I believe this is Arezzo Italy region, but cant find info on maker. Thanks in advance on any info.

  48. k hughes
    April 2, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Can you tell me the marks for silver and also the marks for gold?
    I love your site. Just stumbled into it last week when I was looking for a gold mark. I added it to my favorites list. Since then I’ve came acrosed a ring stamped .750 but I don’t know what it is. Silver or white gold.

  49. April 3, 2013 at 4:24 am

    Hi Andrew,

    The Italians do not hallmark as we traditionally understand hallmarks. Hallmarking is the stamping of a precious metal item’s fineness as tested by independent laboratories and is prescribed by law. The Italian mark that you describe is struck in place by the maker. What makes it different than the traditional trademark a maker would strike on their precious metal products is that in 1934 Italian manufacturers were required to register their companies and given a number. The elongated mark would note the number and two letters that indicate the province where the company is located and registered. You are correct that AR is the area of Arezzo. Determining if the number is 34 or 84 will be important to furthering your research on the maker of the piece. The use of the star began in 1968 and is still in use today.

    Hope that helps!

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