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Vintage costume jewelry usually doesn’t have purity marks, but will often have a maker’s mark (commonly called the signature), and can sometimes have a retailer mark and/or patent or inventory marks.Patent numbers are especially helpful when dating older vintage jewelry, and will be covered in a separate article in this series.
It includes silver marks from many countries and you can access it here: 925-1000 Silver Marks When learning how to date vintage jewelry, a maker’s mark (or signature) can be a big help, since most companies changed their signatures over time.
Maybe you’ve just acquired some vintage jewelry from a family member or friend.
Or you found some nice vintage jewelry at a yard or garage sale or at the thrift shop.
Because it’s not possible to have a comprehensive discussion of how to identify and date vintage jewelry in a single article, this article is the first in a series, and will specifically address vintage jewelry marks.
Future articles in this series will discuss how to date patented jewelry and jewelry without signatures and/or hallmarks.
As a general rule, signatures without a copyright symbol indicate the piece was manufactured prior to 1955. Jewelry companies would often use up their supply of pre-stamped clasps and findings after switching to a new signature, so some pieces made soon after 1955 might not have copyright symbols.