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tline3open  Help -- Taxco Sterling Silver "325"

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Author Topic:   Help -- Taxco Sterling Silver "325"
iconnumber posted 12-03-2003 10:37 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have recently acquired a 3-piece (parure) set of sterling jewelry. Necklace earrings and bracelet. All are marked Taxco and made in Mexico. There is a small hallmark which looks like a "15" enclosed by a border. It is marked STERLING 325. Can you tell me what this means?

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Patrick Vyvyan

Posts: 640
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 12-04-2003 10:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Patrick Vyvyan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I rather hope your 325 mark is a worn version of 925, this is the sterling standard (925 parts of pure silver per thousand).
Does the border of the 15 look like a bell (although, if so, it is in fact a sylised eagle)? If so, it is the Mexican silver mark used from the late 1940s to the mid 1970s. Each silversmith, or workshop (Taller in Spanish) was allocated a number.
Taxco was, and stil is, an important centre of Mexican silver jewellery. One of the forces behind it was a North American named William Spratling who started in the 1930s. Spratling helped to train many craftsmen (and women) who went on to set up their own talleres.

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iconnumber posted 12-05-2003 11:50 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
hi ! i was so happy for your response. I have checked all the pieces again. The earrings have 325 in rather large numerals. Under that in a circle is written STERLINGMADEINMEXICO. The bracelet has two circular marks. One circle says Taxco Los Castillo with a "15" in the center...yes the outline appears to be a bell. The other circular marking says Sterling Made In Mexico and they have a 325 in larger numerals which is centered under both circular marks. It is clearly 325 ... there is no way it was a nine. The "3" looks like it does here on the computer where the top is straight rather than circular as in a "9". I didn't know sterling could be 325ths of 1000... I have only seen 925 and 980. The necklace is marked just like the bracelet. It is a beautiful set.... quite heavy. The necklace measures 15-1/2" long (each link is about 7/8" ... a circular link with a ball stud in the center of each .. the bracelet is 7" and has a safety chain. The earrings are screwbacks. Is there any more you can tell me? the 325 is clearly a mystery but it definitely is a 3. Thanks for your help !

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Paul Lemieux

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Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 12-05-2003 02:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The "325" is the model or catalog number for the set--it has nothing to do with silver content. Your set is .925 grade silver (sterling).

Many of the better Taxco tallers, such as Margot de Taxco, Los Castillo, etc. would place such a number on their jewelry. Most Los Castillo items I have handled have had such a number. The numbers, I imagine, made it easier for customers/retailers to order certain items. The eagle mark on your piece was used c. 1945 to c. 1979.

Is there any way you could post pictures of the set? It sounds like you have made a nice find--a several piece set by a pretty good name. Also we might be able to help you date the set based on its design.

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 12-05-2003).]

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