A Note From Dalaco...
Dalaco started life in 1982, run single-handedly from a kitchen table in Devon by my Dad David Larcombe. The David Larcombe Company quickly built a reputation for quality cufflinks and accessories, outgrowing the kitchen (much to Mum’s delight) and moving first into the garage, and then into a barn on the family farm. Over the years the company continued to grow, developing into a great team of people, many of whom are still with us today.
Silver hallmarks are a key part of determining the purity of an item purporting to be made from silver. Hallmarks are legal stamps, applied to items manufactured from a number of precious metals. These include gold, silver, platinum and palladium. They identify the main metal, and how much of it can be found, in a number of items
Hallmarks on silver were first introduced in the UK in 1300 as a method of proving that the silver object contained the correct amount of silver, since pure silver is a very soft metal and consequently any object made from silver requires some base metal to be added to it to strengthen it.
In these early days it was not uncommon for silver objects to be melted down and converted into coinage, and so it was imperative that the silver used was of a sufficient grade, especially with continental silver containing a much lower percentage of silver.
Silver Hallmarks were the answer to this problem.
Any piece of silver had to be officially approved to be of a high enough silver content, and would be given it’s hallmark only when this was the case.
As a consequence the hallmark became a standard of quality and assurance, and the presence of a hallmark on a silver object was an official seal of approval.
English silver, or Sterling silver is often referred to as solid silver, but it does in fact contain 7.5% copper, so it is 92.5% pure, which is why modern silver often has a .925 mark stamped into it. Continental silver is often only 80% pure.