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Since early civilisation silver has been a treasured possession. It was known to the Romans as Argentum and so a fitting name for our company which once specialised in the manufacture of sterling silverware.
In 1238 King Henry II commanded six reputable craftsmen in the silversmith trade to control and regulate standards. This was to stop greedy and unscrupulous manufacturers defrauding the public by substituting white base metal for the prized and much sought after precious metal silver. Thus was created the British Hallmarking System which is probably the earliest recorded piece of consumer protection and over 770 years later, is unquestionably the most enduring.
The purpose of the hallmark is to give the purchaser a visible guarantee of quality. Before any piece of silver can be hallmarked, it is individually tested at the Assay Office to determine its purity, and will only be marked if it is found to be of the required standard laid down by law.
The first mark will normally be a group of letters – the manufacturers mark
The location is then determined by the symbol – a Rose is Sheffield (once also a crown)
The lion passant or 925 denotes the quality assayed – Sterling silver (92.5% silver)
A single letter denotes the year it was tested which changes annually