Over the next 50 years Birks expanded by buying up established jewellers across the country.They also took over their rivals in manufacturing until they had a virtual monopoly on the production and sale of sterling silverware in Canada.These hallmarks tell buyers something about the purity of the silver, when the piece was manufactured and who manufactured it.It is now illegal in most countries to sell commercial silver without the appropriate hallmarks.To the untrained eye, the hallmarks look like nothing more than artistic enhancements. The trained silver trader can instantly tell the value of a piece simply by observing its hallmarks.In Great Britain, silver hallmarks were introduced in the 1320s.
But, to be honest, some are much better than others.
British Silver Hallmarks were first introduced in 1327.
After this date, it was an offence to sell any precious metal without the appropriate hallmarks.
Be careful, as silver plated objects often have stamps resembling hallmarks.
Make sure your marks match the official UK hallmarks.