I’m new to the forum and know very little about hallmarking, but hope to learn. I have some questions regarding the hallmarking of silver chains, in particular watch chains.
What hallmarking detail is typically found on a silver watch chain.
Should the individual links of a silver chain be hallmarked.
If a bar is fitted, should that also be hallmarked.
Any help will be much appreciated.
I can only speak for the case of British hallmarks.
I would expect every single chain link to be marked with the lion passant for sterling. A T-bar should also be hallmarked with maker’s mark, sterling lion, assay office mark and date letter - typically 2 marks on each side of the bar.
Thank you for taking the time and trouble to respond to my post.
I have had a close look at the chain and it does indeed have a lion passant on each link, albeit that some are less clear than others due to wear.
The T-bar has only three marks that I can see. On the left side there is the sterling lion mark followed by what looks like a W (although it is possibly an M). The right hand side is marked with ‘CDB’
The clasp has only one mark that I can see and that is ‘SS’
I have a Victorian sterling silver pocket watch chain in my possesion which was my great granddads, the links are approx 6-7mm wide and have assay lion standard marks on them. It weighs 42.5gms and is 42.5cms long. The T- bar has a lion on and a cap letter A which could be 1850. On the other side of the T-bar are the letters CDB does any one know what they stand for. I have seen one similar on ebay selling for £240. I also have a sterling silver lever pocket watch which i think dates from about 1880 on the front of the watch is the name Dan J Mullarkey Bradford, inside the watch it has a anchor hallmark which i think means Birmingham and a lower case letter b. the watch has no hour and minute handa , no glass and will not wind . Is it worth me getting restored. Regards Steve.
Without a picture of the marks (and I know it will be difficult as they are very small) it is not possible to be definite about the hallmarking. However I will assume that it is a Birmingham hallmark (the most likely scenario). In that case the A is most likely going to be the date code for 1925. For comparison here is a Birmingham 1925 A - note that the shape of the punch should tie down the attribution:
CDB is most likely C D Broughton, listed as a gold & silver chain maker of St Paul’s Square, Birmingham.
The b on the watch case is probably 1901. Unless the watch has great sentimental value I would think it is not worth getting it restored.