Comments for Duty Marks

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1863 or1913
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem with the date mark on a gold ring.

The duty mark info was very helpful.

Also, the scalloped bottom to the date letter background applies to silver, not gold items?

Taken from the Birmingham Assay Office website:

'Date Letters 1773 to 2010

The date letters below show the background shape for silver. The same letters were used for Gold, which has been marked in Birmingham since 1824, but with a background of a square with cut corners.'

Part of the sponsor's mark on my ring has gone, due to re-sizing, so it is difficult to be absolutely sure of the maker. It would have been much easier to decide between the two dates, had I got this information.

However, I have come to the conclusion that mine is a 1913 ring.

Useful forum.


by: steve

Certainly looks more like an Edwardian than a victorian style of decoration round the edges. It's also not uncommon for the shield surround to be different from bradbuy's as your valuer mentioned.

The sponsor mark though is the clincher...always cross reference the sponsor with the date letter to confirm things like this.

And I have to say on larger bits of jewellery I would have expected to see the duty mark if it was from the older date...its not unusual for smaller bits of jewellery not to be duty stamped at that time, but less common for larger items

I'd be going for 1913...

Post Script
by: Karen

I also sent photos of the bangle to the Birmingham Assay Office and received a response dating the bangle to 1913 by both it's hallmark and it's style.

Sponsors Mark T & M
by: Tony

well, the registered mark is for Horace Thomas & Walter Marshall, Birmingham jewellers -1890 - 1930s.

More Photos of the bangle would of course be useful


Bradbury's book of hallmarks reference
by: Anonymous

Sorry but I have to agree with the dealer who sold the bangle- I have Bradbury's book of hallmarks and the shape of the letter date stamp (square with cut off corners) is consistant with the 1863 stamp. The 1913 stamp has a scalloped bottom. Yes I am looking in the Birmingham section of my book.

Birmingham Date Mark
by: Anonymous

Hi Karen thank you for writing in with the following hallmark question:

"Last year I purchased a gold bangle with 1863 Birmingham hallmarks. Recently I was advised that the bangle is more likely to be a 1913 bangle. The appraiser made the following comment "Actual Hallmark date is 1913/4 (Common error due to Birmingham retaining the Square cartouche for gold items after 1899) Indicators: No duty mark,lowercase 'o', style of product and construction.

However, the vendor of the bangle states that he has been in the jewellry business for 30 years and is emphatic that it is an 1863 bangle. He says that not having a duty mark is common, tben though the item dates to the duty mark years.

Would you have a look at the hallmark and give me your opinion - 1863 or 1913?"

Interesting question Karen and although we cannot see the bangle, the inside looks lovely! The maker's mark was used by Horace Thomas & Walter Marshall (Silversmiths & Retailers, Birmingham, UK) - ca 1890s - 1930s.

Working within those dates the date letter "O" is for Birmingham, 1913.

best wishes,
Yvonne Hammouda-Eyre
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