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This tends to protect the use of these marks, and in general restricts them to use on pieces made in the UK.

This protects both collectors and the companies who registered the marks.

Hallmarks are small markings stamped on gold, silver and platinum articles.

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Depending upon the font used for the series of date letters, the letter i, j or l is usually omitted to avoid any possible confusion between them.

Sometimes called the Sterling Mark, the lion passant, the mark for Made in England, first appeared on English silver and gold in 1544.

For two years it was crowned, but has been struck ever since in its present form by all English Assay Offices.

Between 17 the crown is often incorporated with the date letter struck on small objects.

When the Birmingham Assay Office was established in 1773, largely due to the representations of the great Midlands industrialist, Matthew Boulton, the mark of an anchor was adopted as the town mark.

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