Dating rs germany marks
The testing (assay) and hallmarking of gold and silver items in Britain goes back to the year 1300.
At first the wardens of the Goldsmiths' company would visit guild members workshops and stamp their work with the mark of the leopard's head.
Make sure that you get a 2014 or later edition, because only those contain correct information about British import hallmarks applied to watch cases.
Also be aware that the tables of date letters in most references are only for British silver items, gold and imported items often have different punch shapes for their date letters. There is a lot of information on this page and I know it can be difficult to take it all in; if you are struggling to understand the marks in your watch case please ask me for help via my contact me page.
If you want to get a book about British hallmarking, Bradbury's Book of Hallmarks published by the Sheffield Assay Office is a long established reference.
Before that date gold cases were usually stamped with their carat fineness by the case maker, and silver was marked with its millesimal fineness, usually 800, or sometimes just "fine silver".
British practice changed in 1907 when it was ordered that all imported gold and silver watch cases be assayed and hallmarked in a British assay office.
Other assay offices were later opened in centres where goldsmiths worked.
The fineness of the metal is tested to make sure it meets legal requirements and then it can be stamped with a hallmark.