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Author Topic:   help with marks

Posts: 1
Registered: Sep 2004

iconnumber posted 09-14-2004 04:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for sherry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have found a very large bowl and the only marks that I can find are a very simple crown, then the letters GSC. I can't find anything on this and don't even know if it is real silver or not. Can anyone help with this or direct me to someone or someplace that may be able to help?


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iconnumber posted 09-14-2004 05:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A pretty good rule of thumb is if it doesn't say sterling or have a silver purity mark such as 925, 835 or 800, or if it doesn't have appropriate hallmarks then it is not likely going to be silver, especially on a larger item. Manufacturers and individual silversmiths have always gone to great lengths to ensure everything they make of silver is clearly marked as such since they charge large premiums for it. Customers have always been fanatical about it as well since they have always wanted to be very, very sure they are getting what they paid for. There are exceptions to this rule of thumb but they are few and far between.

For modern silver I personally think it is all a bit much given the relatively low cost of the raw material these days - pure silver sells for about $6.20 an ounce or the weight of an average spoon - but that's the market and you are paying for the manufacturing and overhead and sales network costs, etc. On older items the value is mainly in their exceptional and artful workmanship plus historical value rather than the silver content (unless it is a very massive and heavy piece). The finest craftsmen tended to use silver and gold as their main mediums and so the highest quality items tend to be silver or gold ones. There are exceptions, of course, one being antique Japanese steel as found in swords from the Shinto era where the countries arguably greatest metal artists worked in steel.

[This message has been edited by Kimo (edited 09-14-2004).]

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