All our items are sterling silver and have been hallmarked in the United Kingdom. To warrant a hallmark a British Assay Office independently tests each piece to establish the purity of the silver content.  These items have to be a minimum of  925 parts silver per 1000 to be of sterling silver standard. If items fail to reach that standard they cannot be marked sterling standard. The reason it is not 100%, is that in its pure state, silver would be too soft for every day use.  Sterling silver contains a very small percentage of copper, as the alloy, to give it the durability to stand up to constant use. Edward 1 introduced Hallmarking back to 1327 and is probably the oldest form of consumer protection in Britain.

Reading Hallmarks

The Sponsors or Makers mark.  All silversmiths have their own registered mark.  This is usually in the form of their initials in a shaped background.  This has to be applied with all hallmarking by law

The Standard Mark The standing lion denotes sterling silver. This shows the piece is at least 925 parts silver. This mark does not have to be stamped as it is now an optional mark  
The Date letter which shows the year that it was assayed. A different letter and typestyle indicate this each year. This is now an optional mark  

The Town mark. This tells us which Assay Office the silver was assayed and hallmarked. Anchor Birmingham,  Rose Sheffield,  Leopards Head London,  Castle Edinburgh. This has to be stamped by law.  

925 Quality Mark. This donates the quality of the silver 92.5% purity. This has to be stamped by law.