PHOTO ABOVE: Various Jewelry Makers Marks [Source: JWNZ & Luxuria Diamonds]
What are jewelry makers marks? A maker’s mark identifies the manufacturer, sponsor company or the individual craftsman that made a piece of jewelry. Most modern jewelry will include at least two marks which are engraved, stamped or applied by laser.
The first mark will define the material fineness or purity. Examples of gold purity marks include 18k, 750 and 585. Examples of silver purity marks include 925, STERLING, STG and STER.
The purity mark is sometimes called a Hallmark. This is true where an independent assessment is made of the materials. Due to the high price of precious metals there is an unfortunate opportunity for fraud. Just by looking at it even the most experienced jeweller cannot tell how much precious metal there is in an alloy.
Therefore a hallmark is important to confirm the purity of a precious metal meets a certain legal standard. A stamp indicating the fineness of an item (e.g. 925 on a gold ring) on its own – is not an officially hallmarked item.
The second mark will be the jewelry makers mark. Jewelry makers marks typically are initials or the name of the manufacturing firm. The initials are usually two or three characters. Examples includes DF for David Keefe Fine Jewellery, LUX for Luxuria Diamonds or VCA for Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry.
Jewelry makers marks can also be logos, company names or some other representative symbols. The markers mark is like a trademark. The markers mark is sometimes the only evidence that a certain piece of jewelry has been made by a particular jeweller or brand. Therefore such marks are very important and widely used to establish provenance and underpin valuations.
Sterling Jewelry Makers Marks
Maker’s marks are typically the initials or name of the manufacturing firm. In many instances the makers mark is a logo or symbol which is stamped onto the gold, silver or platinum jewelry item. Sometimes sterling jewelry makers marks are called ‘Trademarks’.
Various USA sterling jewelry makers marks. Clockwise from top; SAI is the makers mark for Samuel Aaron Inc, of Mount Vernon, NY. R crescent moon is the makers mark for Relios, Inc. a jewelry design and production company from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The pd inside a heart is the jewelry markers marks of Pranda Jewelry Public Company Limited of Bangkok, Thailand.
Whether labelled as a makers mark or a trademark, often the mark is the only evidence that a certain piece of jewelry has indeed been manufactured by a certain jewelry maker. When such marks are present, the jewelry item is said to be “signed” by the maker or manufacturer. Such signatures, stamps or marks are essential for establishing provenance. Therefore you should avoid buying jewelry which is not so marked.
In some countries official maker’s marks are assigned to registered goldsmiths and their use overseen by a body like the Chamber of Commerce. Italy is one example. In other countries makers marks are self-created and recorded on a voluntary basis by a jewellers association of Guild. The Gold & Silversmiths Guild of Australia is an example.
Jewelry Makers Marks database
Many countries don’t offer lists of registered makers or their marks. Even in the U.S. and Canada, there is no requirement to register one’s mark. As a result, there is nowhere to research the identity of a signature or mark.
Jewelry makers marks are sometimes called sponsors marks. A sponsors mark is a registered mark of the company that submitted an article of jewellery for hallmarking.
We are routinely asked by the public if we could identify the designer of a piece of jeweller from the jewelry makers marks. We answer some of these questions in our blog on 925 stamps on silver rings.
Below is an alphabetized list of contemporary maker’s marks. This list focuses on modern designers marks from 1970’s to current. The list especially focuses on jewellery makers marks from the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Along with these marks is their corresponding jewelry designers, manufacturers or brand name. Finally in the last column is any supporting information. Sources for this information are acknowledged at the bottom of the page.
JEWELRY MAKERS MARKS DATABASE UNDER CONSTRUCTION – Please revisit.
In the meantime we’ve answers lots of ring makers mark questions in the comments of section of our blog. Click below