Read fine silver jewelry marks on Mexican jewelry with a loupe, and know how to interpret them. The marks on Mexico silver and sterling silver jewelry may tell the age, the silver content, and the origin of the piece. These marks are on necklaces, bracelets, rings, and even tiny earrings if you know where to look. They are on antique and vintage jewelry as well as the newer Mexican fine silver jewelry.
You can learn to read the marks and be a better shopper, whether you like antique or vintage Mexican jewelry or the newer fine silver jewelry.
Things You'll Need
- loupe or magnifier
- Mexican fine silver jewelry
Know where to look.
Locate the silver jewelry marks. The marks are usually on the backside or inside of the fine jewelry, and sometimes on the clasp of a bracelet or necklace. They may be on the screw of a screwback earring, or on the backside under the screw.
Silver marks reveal the era.
Determine the era by marks. If the mark is Mexico Silver or Mexico Plata, it is an older piece of jewelry. These marks are usually prior to 1960. The eagle mark was used from about 1955 to 1979, so the eagle stamp is an older piece of fine silver jewelry from Mexico. Newer marks have two letters followed by a dash and another number. This system was started about 1979 or 1980.
Read the silver content.
Read fine silver jewelry marks on Mexican jewelry to know the silver content. Mexican silver jewelry may be marked .925, but we often see .950, .970 and even .980. .925 is the minimum standard for sterling silver in the United States, and that is 92.5% sterling silver. These other numbers are all sterling silver or better, and are fine silver jewelry from Mexico.
Read for area of manufacture.
Learn to read the Mexican fine silver jewelry marks for area of origin. The new marks with TC-902 and similar numbers are readable. T is the city of origin, Taxco. C is the last name of the maker. 902 is the 902nd silversmith to get a number in the TC category. Mexico City is M, and it is the only other common letter we see in Texas.
Know the old eagle mark.
Read the older fine silver jewelry marks on Mexican jewelry, too. The eagle had a number inside the stamp. Number 1 was for jewelry from Mexico City and the number 3 jewelry came from Taxco. Certain makers may have had a number, too. From what we know, we think 28 may be Bernice Goodspell and 16 may be Margot.
Make yourself a number guide for Mexican silver jewelry.
See if you can establish a number guide for your future purchases. You may choose to purchase all of one number, and that would give you fine jewelry from one specific maker, or you may want to organize a collection by numbers. Read fine silver jewelry marks on Mexican jewelry and learn some history about your fine silver jewelry.
Tips & Warnings
- We often write about fine jewelry and costume jewelry. See more articles like this one in Resources below.
- copyright 2009 Linda Richard
- Feel free to link to this article or send it to a friend.
- Photo Credit images from the author
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