Whether you plan to keep the jewelry as a family heirloom or would like to resell it, a knowledge of vintage jewelry marks will help you to identify and date it properly.
According to Lang Antiques’ Antique Jewelry University, the term “hallmark” refers to any stamps or marks on jewelry and usually includes one or more of the following: Purity marks for older silver pieces can differ from those commonly seen today.
For example, most Sterling Silver Jewelry up until the 1940s era was usually stamped “STERLING” or “STER” or “STG.” The “925” mark did not come into common use until later.
You can view it here: My Classic Jewelry Trifari Vintage Jewelry Marks Guide Vintage Jewelry Marks Resource: You can search for “vintage jewelry marks” for information about the jewelry marks used by various jewelry companies.
One site I like to use is Illusions Jewels’ “Researching Costume Jewelry” pages.
Vintage costume jewelry usually doesn’t have purity marks, but will often have a maker’s mark (commonly called the signature), and can sometimes have a retailer mark and/or patent or inventory marks.
Patent numbers are especially helpful when dating older vintage jewelry, and will be covered in a separate article in this series.I’ve accumulated a modest library of vintage jewelry reference books and have created a page on my site that lists some of the best, along with a brief summary for each one.Check it out here: My Classic Jewelry Vintage Jewelry Books Future articles will discuss other aspects of dating vintage jewelry.Resources Page with All Links: If you’d like to have all of the resources mentioned in this article in one place, check out my Resources page: My Classic Jewelry Resources Page Another way to learn more about vintage jewelry is to read vintage jewelry books.In addition to learning about the history of vintage jewelry or particular designers, they also include wonderful photos, often with the vintage jewelry marks.Vintage jewelry patents provide a wonderful way to research and accurately date older vintage jewelry.