Dating mexican silver jewelry and eagle mark

"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.A silver object that is to be sold commercially is, in most countries, stamped with one or more silver hallmarks indicating the purity of the silver, the mark of the manufacturer or silversmith, and other (optional) markings to indicate date of manufacture and additional information about the piece.In some countries, the testing of silver objects and marking of purity is controlled by a national assayer's office.

Prior to the general adoption of sterling silver as the standard of purity in 1868, silver was generally obtained from the melting of coins.Since these could vary considerably in purity, from around .750 millesimal fineness to around .900, silver known as "coin silver" varies in purity.Silver at that time was sometimes marked "COIN" or "PURE COIN", but can also be without a standard mark altogether.One concave line represented 140/1000 fineness, a straight one 150 and a convex one 160.For example, a Diana head within a frame made in the shape of a 5-petal flower represented 5x160 = 800 thousands fineness, a local silver standard commonly used in table forks and spoons.

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These five nations have, historically, provided a wealth of information about a piece through their series of applied punches.

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