Jewelry Makers Marks

Jewelry Makers Marks - What stamps on rings mean
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.

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 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.