researching makers marks
Over the ages most makers of precious metal objects have chosen to identify their creations by leaving their “mark”.
Types of marks, their location and meaning vary greatly and have been adopted and used many ways around the world. In addition to the mark of the maker, marks may be present that indicate the materials used, the era in which they were created, and any independant testing that has taken place to verify the materials used.
The Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia administers the only comprehensive marking scheme for items made in precious metals in Australia, and is based upon the scheme that has been used in the United Kingdom since mediaeval times. The term Hallmark derives from their Goldsmiths’ Hall in London, where the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths initially implemented Hallmarking in 1327.
Various laws and statues exist that determine what marks are required, how they are regulated and the information that is communicated.
In Australia the Guild Mark of the Gold and Silversmiths Guild of Australia is easily recognisable as a kangaroo head’s profile with a diamond or circle shaped border. These trademarked Guild Marks are made available for use by Fellows or Full Members of the Guild respectively.
The provenance of precious metal items stamped with the Guild Mark is easily determined by reference to the makers marks listed on this site