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Reed & Barton was founded in 1824 in Taunton, Massachusetts, making it one of the oldest privately owned silversmiths in the United States.The company is well-known for its silverplate flatware and giftware."In the USA, The National Gold and Silver Marketing Act does not require precious metals to be marked with quality.However, if a quality mark is used, the mark must be accompanied by a manufacturer's hallmark that is a registered trademark or the name of the manufacturer.Both pieces also have a Duty Mark (Queen Victoria).The French assay mark for sterling silver is the head of the goddess Minerva.French silver made for export carries an assay mark in the shape of the head of Mercury, along with a number to indicate the millesimal fineness: "1" for .920, "2" for .840 and "3" for .750.French silver also is punched with the mark of the maker.
Shows the hallmarks for two pieces of English silver (from the workshops of George Adams (1842) and Joseph & Albert Savory (1838)) each with a tally mark added (the letter B on one and a small dot on the other).If there is ever a question about the content of a piece of jewelry, the manufacturer can be traced using the hallmark stamped on the piece....US law requires a maker's mark in the form of a hallmark or registered trademark in addition to the quality mark if the goods are quality marked.The hallmark for sterling silver varies from nation to nation, often using distinctive historic symbols, although Dutch and UK Assay offices no longer strike their traditional hallmarks exclusively in their own territories and undertake assay in other countries using marks that are the same as those used domestically.One of the most highly structured hallmarking systems in the world is that of the United Kingdom, (Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland), and Ireland.
Like most silver products, Reed & Barton silverplate pieces feature hallmarks that help you to identify it.