Irish silver commemorative hallmarks
Generally, Irish silver is expected to bear 4 marks: a maker’s mark, purity mark (.925 for sterling silver), Hibernia, and a year mark. A mark called the Harp Crowned, the traditional purity mark, may also appear.
At certain points in the past, special marks have also been added to silver, to commemorate events or anniversaries. In the history of the Dublin assay office, there have been five such marks.
The first mark was used in 1966, to mark 50 years since the Easter Rising. It depicts the Claíomh Solais, (Sword of Light), and the years 1916 and 1966.
The next hallmark was used in 1973, to mark Ireland joining the EC. It is a Celtic Collar with the year 1973 inside.
There was a gap of 14 years until the next special hallmark; this particular mark is quite rare, and was used in 1987 to celebrate 350 years of the Company of Goldsmiths of Dublin; the mark is a miniature version of the crest of the Company.
The very next year another special mark was used, this time to mark Dublin’s 1000 year anniversary. It is a mark depicting Dublin’s crest, that of three castles. It is the mark on the bottom left of the image below.
The final special mark was used in the year 2000 to celebrate the Millennium. It is seen on the far right of the marks in the photo below.
A collection of all five hallmarks is a wonderful thing to have!!!
Posted in Antique Irish Silver