Collecting and owning antique silver tea sets can be valuable and rewarding. Learning about silver tea set maker marks and hallmarks is an educational journey into history. Once the hallmarks on the items are identified, you will have an idea of what your silver tea set is valued at. For more valuable tea sets, you may want to consider professional appraisals.
Things You'll Need
- Silver polishing cloth
- Jeweler’s loupe (optional)
- Magnifying glass (recommended)
- Antique silver tea set hallmark / value guide books (optional)
- Digital camera (recommended)
Look for areas on the silver tea set pieces that have stamped marks, words or symbols.
Look for different pieces of the silver tea set that have additional marks on them. Set aside the pieces that have stamped marks, words or symbols. If all pieces of the silver tea set have the same marks, words or symbols, you will not need to use each one, so choose only the pieces that look like they have the clearest stamped marks, words or symbols on them, or added and unusual markings that the other pieces do not have.
Wipe the areas marked on the silver tea set pieces using the jeweler’s polishing cloth. This will help to uncover any marks or symbols hidden due to tarnish.
Hold the first piece of the silver tea set you are trying to identify in one hand, and hold either the jeweler’s loupe or magnifying glass in the other.
Make notes about the kinds of symbols, words and marks you see on the silver tea set piece. If possible, draw a diagram.
Consult silver tea set value and identification guide books if you have any, or look at silver hallmark identification websites. Compare and contrast the silver marks and stamps from the silver tea set pieces that you wrote down on the paper to those that are in the identification guides or websites.
Photograph the hallmarks, symbols and stamps of the silver tea set pieces that you have. Try to get clear, close-up photos. If you are unable to locate the specific markings in reference guides or websites, try uploading pictures and asking questions online. It is a good idea to save copies of those photos for insurance purposes.