One of the most highly structured hallmarking systems in the world is that of the United Kingdom, (Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland), and Ireland. These five nations have, historically, provided a wealth of information about a piece through their series of applied punches. It should be noted that since 2015 visually identical UK Hallmarks are being struck in India and Italy by sub-offices of Birmingham & Sheffield Assay Offices respectively:
English silver makers have used their own marks for centuries. These can consist of their initials or unique mark. They are shown with the Lion Passant for Sterling, Date letter and City Mark also known as the Assay Mark. The image above shows the hallmark for an English silver maker alongsides the Lion Passant for Sterling, Leopards Head for London and the date letter “u” for 1955.