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The difficulty lies in the fact that the French never use numbers.Symbols in the form of animals and heads of animals and people, insects, and birds have been used to indicate fineness, place of manufacture, imports and exports. The most easily recognized and commonly seen French mark is the eagles head, in use since 1838, indicating 18 karat gold. The mark can be found on jewelry in any number of places.

However, when a piece of jewelry is hallmarked, the marks can yield clues to country of origin and, sometimes, date of manufacture, as well as indicate the metal content of the piece. Indications of fineness or karat have been required since 1906, but fineness marks were sometimes stamped on silver jewelry in the 19 Every country has a different system of hallmarking, ranging from simple to complex.

After 1838, a makers mark in a lozenge (diamond shape with four equal sides) was also required on French gold, silver and platinum.

According to Tardy, the lozenge shape itself was introduced in 1797, but it is not clear if there were any regulations about its use at that time.

This is a clue to look for when dating silver handled knives.

Much that he does not think he is going to be in any type of radiometric.

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