Although the study of hallmarks serves as a wonderful research avocation to many involved in the antiques trade, a trained professional can, and should, put such a desired object in the proper time frame without the presence of such marks.
The most encountered hallmark on jewelry is undoubtedly the "purity" mark which indicates the total amount of gold or silver used to manufacture a coveted jewel.
This is the unique mark of the company or person responsible for sending the article for hallmarking.
The sponsor may be the manufacturer, importer, wholesaler, retailer or an individual.
Because it’s not possible to have a comprehensive discussion of how to identify and date vintage jewelry in a single article, this article is the first in a series, and will specifically address vintage jewelry marks.
Future articles in this series will discuss how to date patented jewelry and jewelry without signatures and/or hallmarks.