French Silver Hallmark
Before we start, reader might be interested to read our simple section on French Silver History.
The French system of marking silver has changed several times. They had two standards for silver. The first is .950 (95% silver) and the second is .800.
French marks are very small but it is usually fairly easy to see that the shape of the lozenge around Minerva’s head is an octagon for the 1st standard and a barrel-shape for the 2nd standard.
On the right the current French silver hallmark :
"tête de Minerve" : Minerva's head, sideways on the right, in a octagon.
On the left, the Master's (or maker's) mark in a diamond-shaped.
The French assay mark for sterling silver is the head of the goddess Minerva. In fact, the French standard for sterling silver is higher than that of other nations, requiring a silver content of 950 parts per thousand, or 95% silver. Silver items with a slightly lower grade of silver, 800 parts per thousand, are marked with the head of Minerva, next to which is a "2". The vase mark is the highest mark for French silver today, indicating 99.9 percent silver.
User may use our forum to post any Silver Marks where the community can help decipher or help identify.