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For example Paul Storr, Hester Bateman, Christopher Dresser, and Omar Ramsden.Until 1742 only silver items were made in Britain but then a process was invented to fuse sterling silver to copper and the Old Sheffield Plate industry started to develop.The minimum standard of silver within Britain has always been set at the Sterling standard (92.5 %), and this is represented by the Lion, either passant (English) or rampant (Scottish).There is a higher standard called Britannia (95.8 %) which was introduced in 1697 to combat the melting/conversion of silver coinage into silverware.This made it a lot easier to understand but still retained as much of the interest and tradition as possible.
Even some relatively small towns had offices such as Plymouth, Colchester, Lincoln, Shrewsbury, Preston, Hull, Carlisle, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, Perth, Cork, and Limerick.
Much of the charm and interest in British silver hallmarks lies in their variety and individuality.
However the main object of silver hallmarking was and is to protect the public against fraud.
Today the only assay offices that are left open for silver hallmarking are London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh, and Dublin. The alphabet cycle is used to indicate the date of manufacture.
With the letter changing each year you would expect only 26 options, but after each cycle the style of the lettering changed, and also the shield that the letter was surrounded by.
As time passed, all of these smaller provincial assay offices closed down.