Decoding UK Product Registration Marks 1842-1964 :: British Diamond Mark Numbers :: Silver, Glass, Ceramics

Ornamental Design Acts

During the Georgian Period (1714-1837) the Industrial Revolution had seen the capability for copying items increase exponentially. At the beginning of Queen Victoria's reign (1827-1901) the UK Government decided that the buying public needed to be reassured that products made in Britain could be categorically identified as British.

Gold- and silver-smiths had Assay Marks to determine the quality and origin of their products so the public could be guaranteed of the origin of those wares. British ceramics manufacturers had stamped, painted or impressed company back-stamps before that date, introduced by Wedgwood, but the public needed to know that the product was British, both nationally and internationally. Other products, however, had been slow to incorporate anti-copying mechanisms to protect their investment in designs.

So, the Ornamental Design Act of 1839 saw the birth of the notion of copyright.

In fact, several Acts were enacted between 1839 and 1907: Act BT42 in 1839; Acts BT43 & BT44 in 1842; Acts BT45 & BT46 in 1843; Acts BT47 & BT48 in 1850; Acts BT50 & BT51 in 1883; and, Acts BT52 and BT53 in 1907. Each of these built on the protections introduced with the first Act in 1839.

The Acts enabled products to be registered so that they could be associated with particular British designers or manufacturers .From 1842 until 1883 extract information from the registration process was recorded on products (not all products) using a Diamond (or Lozenge) Mark.

Product Registration Diamonds

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Registration Diamond for 1868-1883Registration Diamond for 1842-1867
Registration Diamond for 1868-1883
Registration Diamond for 1868-1883
Registration Diamond for 1842-1867
Registration Diamond for 1842-1867

Product Registration Diamonds

Designs for various products were recorded at the Patent Office. But in order for the assurance of British manufacture to be seen by the public, Registration Diamonds were introduced after the Act of 1842. The first diamond mark lasted until 1867. It was then replaced, in 1868, by the second diamond mark, which lasted until 1883. There is no difference in the shape of the mark but the positioning of the pertinent information did change. On both, the following information was recorded: Class of Material; Year, Month and Day of registration; and the Bundle or Package information. Each of these will be explained below.

Class of Material

From the 1842 Acts, product Class classifications were introduced. These were recorded on products in the Registration Diamond. For the whole period between 1842 to 1883 it was recorded as a Roman numeral in the top half-circle at the apex of the diamond. Individual classes of material had a different Class number, the most relevant for the Antique collector being, as follows:

  • Class I - Metal
  • Class II - Wood
  • Class III - Glass
  • Class IV - Earthenware
  • Class VI - Carpets

Class V and Classes VII to XIII were for paper and fabrics of various type.

Numbers and Letters in the Registration Diamond

The Registration Diamond has 4 arcs in the corners of the diamond. This is where the information is recorded for the Year, Day, Month and Bundle. The Day and Bundle are recorded as numbers. The Year and Month are recorded as Letters. The positioning of these numbers and letters changed from the 1842-1867 period to the 1868-1883 period. It is possible to determine which period the Registration Diamond falls within by the position of the numbers.

Using the Numbers to Determine the Registration Period

As described above, there are two Diamond Registration Mark examples. One that ranges from 1842 to 1867, the other from 1868 to 1883. But why did they change? Well the reason relates to the fact that the Year was represented by a letter. And if you do the Maths then you will calculate that there are 26 letters required to allocate a letter to each year between 1842 and 1867. So by 1868 all letters had been allocated.

What to do now? The decision was to reposition the letters and numbers displayed. The Year was swapped with the Day. The Month was swapped with the Bundle.

If there is a number located at the right or bottom of the diamond then the registration diamond period is 1842-1867.

If a number occurs at the left or top then the registration diamond period is 1868-1883.

Numbers relate to the Day and the Bundle. The Day should be self-explanatory. The Bundle is just a grouping of registrations into which a number of registrations were entered. This is sometimes called a Package. If the archives are looked at to determine all the information about a particular object then the Bundle number would give the general location that the information is recorded. It is similar to a ledger, where many individual details are recorded line by line. This is all that I will record on the subject of Day and Bundle.

Month Letters for both Periods

Month letters were recorded in the right-hand arc in the 1842-1867 period. They were recorded in the bottom arc in the 1868-1883 period. The same Month letters were used for both periods and were as follows:

  • C = January
  • G = February
  • W = March
  • H = April
  • E = May
  • M = June
  • I = July
  • R = August, except when they forgot to change it from 1st to 19th September 1857
  • D = September
  • B = October
  • K = November, except when they forgot to change it for the whole of December 1860
  • D = December

This information is of no great interest to the Antique collector unless they wish to access the Archives.

Year Letters for the Period 1842-1867

As outlined above, the 26 years between 1842 and 1867 were allocated a letter each. This way of indicating the year was in order to limit the number of characters recorded to one (1). They did not, however, make it easy for those coming after, to remember the letters associated with each Year. There is no logical correspondence between the letter and the year. I do not have an explanation for this. What I do have is a list of the year associated with each letter, as below:

  • A = 1845, J = 1854, S = 1849
  • B = 1858, K = 1857, T = 1867
  • C = 1844, L = 1856, U = 1848
  • D = 1852, M = 1859, V = 1850
  • E = 1855, N = 1864, W = 1865
  • F = 1847, O = 1862, X = 1842
  • G = 1863, P = 1851, Y = 1853
  • H = 1843, Q = 1866, Z = 1860
  • I = 1846, R = 1861


Year Letters for the Period 1868-1883

Once all the letters of the alphabet had been used up for the period 1842-1867 something needed to be done. As noted above the decision was to change the position of the Year letter from the top arc to the right-hand arc. Letters were then allocated randomly for each following year for the period 1868-1883. The letters allocated are as follows:

  • A = 1871, I = 1872, U = 1874
  • C = 1870, J = 1880, V = 1876
  • D = 1878, K = 1883, W = 1st to 6th March 1878
  • E = 1881, L = 1882, X = 1868
  • F = 1873, P = 1877, Y = 1879
  • H = 1869, S = 1875

W was used incorrectly at the beginning of March 1878 because they mistook the Month Letter (March = W) for the Year letter.Although not all letters were utilised in the period 1868-1883 a new system of showing the Registration was adopted.

Registration Numbers from 1884 to 1965

The Ornamental Design Acts BT50 & BT51 of 1883 created a regime for change to the Diamond Mark that had been used since 1842. From 1884 the Registration Diamond was replaced by a single number prefixed by "Regn No", "Rd", "Rd No" or some combination of these. "Rd" had been incorporated in the centre of the Registration Diamond previously and stood for "Registered Design" and showed that it was a Patent Office mark. This continued with the new method of indicating the registered design number. Finally, a logical sequence was adopted and the numbering started with 1 and increased in increments of 1 until the last number was allocated in 1965 at over 900,000. The list of numbers below shows the first number allocated for the first year of the decade.

  • 1884 = 1
  • 1890 = 141273
  • 1900 = 351202
  • 1910 = 552000
  • 1920 = 673750
  • 1930 = 751160
  • 1940 = 837520
  • 1950 = 860854
  • 1960 = 895000
  • 1965 = 919607

After 1965 the registration design number system became defunct.

Other Antiques Related Articles by Humagaia

The other article about Antiques related subjects is:

  • My Favourite Antique is.............. - a Victorian silver tea-spoon made in London, assayed in 1862, with a beautiful knotted rope design which was registered in January 1862, stamped with the makers mark for George Adams of Chawner & Co., an eminent London silversmiths that has a boars head engraved on the front of the handle with a sword piercing its snout and the motto "Animo non Astutia". This was the coat-of-arms and the clan motto of a member of the House of Gordon, a Scottish clan.

More by this Author


--- Remarks, Observations and/or Criticisms are Welcomed --- 35 comments

humagaia profile image

humagaia 13 months ago from United Kingdom Author

Possibly a pickle spoon - EP = electro-plated, so not sterling silver.


sylvia bennet 13 months ago

I have a hall marked spoon shaped like a vey small garden spade hall mark EPGSS can you tell me what this might have been used for. It is maybe 100 plus years old.

Sylvia


Danny Darnell 2 years ago

I have an old whiskey keg on wheels it is all white brass it will hold about 1/2 gallon the keg is all white brass also with working tap it has diamond logo with letters LG at top and R ) Rd numbers 14 right middle - bottom number 4 .my email is robert195330@gmail.com I was wondering if anyone has ever seen one?


robyn 4 years ago

hi i have a brass needle holder approx 2" x 3" with a registrationapril 5 1868 needle packet says hayes and grossley any ideas


humagaia profile image

humagaia 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Kathryn,

the patent number likely does relate to 1893. The patent would have been taken out before the object was registered - around 1894 / 1895. The object would have been registered before being produced - so it was produced after 1894 / 5. If the stamp you speak of is the makers mark, this may not be as confusing as you might think: the registration mark will have been used for the shape of the object throughout its production life - which could have seen it have a new makers mark after 1900 - with long production runs on popular models, this would be the norm.


humagaia profile image

humagaia 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Sally

the lid of your pot is electro-plated. This means that a base metal was coated with a thin layer of silver - which you have noted is still visible on the underneath of the lid. Unfortunately, due to vigorous cleaning by a previous owner, unless it was you, has removed the silver coating to leave the base metal - probably a nickel alloy.

An Rd number of 607671 would place the registration date at around 1913 / 1914 - around the start of WW1 in the UK.


humagaia profile image

humagaia 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Jordan

the information you have given me is incongruous. The lozenge, if it were a British registration mark, should have letters, not numbers, in the corners. I am afraid I am unable to assist you.


KathrynBL profile image

KathrynBL 4 years ago from Brainerd, Minnesota

Thank you. This was somewhat helpful to me. I have a cream colored Royal Semi-Porcelain Johnson Brothers covered casserole dish that was made in England. I have looked online extensively and am finding conflicting information. Mine has a stamp (burgandy/brownish in color), a date - Pat. July 27/93 and a Rd No. 208597. Do you think the 93 stands for 1893 then according to your information? What is confusing is that according to another site, my stamp was not used until 1900+. Any information that you would have on the age and value of the item would be much appreciated. I have a second one that has a green stamp and no date or markings - also Johnson Bros. Thank you in advance!

Kathryn


Sally 4 years ago

Hi I have a small glass pot with what looks like a brass fitted lid underneath the lid it is silver coloured stamped in the design on top is the initials E P, and there is a registration mark on the side which is either Rd 07671 or Rd 607671 please can you hel pshed some light on this for me


Jordan Wilkinson 4 years ago

Hi, i have a fire surround with a diamond symbol on the back. Within the symbol there is a number 1 at the top corner, a number 6 at the left corner, a number 4 at the right corner and a number 0 or letter o at the bottom corner. There is also a letter R in the middle of the diamond symbol, do you have any idea of the age of this fire surround or the make/model, Thankyou Jordan


roobabe 4 years ago

Hi, I have a brass butterfly needle holder stamped with

PANTENT W. WOODFIELD & SONS REDDITCH and the Diamond lozenge, in the circle to the point is a 1 under the point is a 4, to the left a 9 and A to the right and a D at the bottom. cheers Roo


humagaia profile image

humagaia 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

They are what they say they are: electro-plated nickel silver. That is they are not silver but nickel based base metal covered with a thin veneer of silver. Without a makers mark or an idea of the pattern it is impossible to give a date for them. The box may reveal the maker. The current price in the UK would be between £5 and £10 (perhaps $8 to $15), if you are lucky.


claire 4 years ago

Hi i have recently been given a boxed set of six teaspoons and was really interested in finding out some information about them. They have a tag attached to one spoon that says Electro Silver-Plate made in England. They have the markings of a crown EP crown then NS in an oval. would you be able to shed some light these for me please?

Thank you


humagaia profile image

humagaia 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Graine I am afraid I cannot shed any light of the meaning of U or V. It may help you if you search the internet for 'Irish Silver Makers Marks' and then limit your search for pre-1800 if the first search does not bring up the information you need.


humagaia profile image

humagaia 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Jo, the EP bit means Electro-Plated. It looks silver because it has a thin layer of silver coating the base metal product underneath. It is not silver.


Grainne harte 4 years ago

I have what I believe to be a silver tea set: a silver tray, with sugar bowl, and a cream bowl and a teapot. However the only marks I am really to find are the letters u and v. These letters are on the legs of the tea pot, I can not find any other marks. All I know is that the set has been in the family(Ireland) for approx 200 years.The set all has an identical flower design throughout which makes me believe there are a set.


Jo 4 years ago

I have some sugar tongs with marked E P G S S EP, just wondering if you could shed some light as to what this means, is it a date? The tongs look silver, do they have a particular maker with these letters?


humagaia profile image

humagaia 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Malia - The item was registered in 1896-97. It was therefore made at or after that date. If it is gold then there should be some other marks on it to give you the exact date it was produced.


malia 4 years ago

I have a Rd no from a not sure if it's a teacup or goblet and its gold....Rd 277168

this item was found on a shipwreck in the pacific island from a boat with the name duke ?? dont know what the rest of the name is...but can you help me out with this?


humagaia profile image

humagaia 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Sorry Mike, I have absolutely no idea. I note you have asked elsewhere with no real conclusion. Seems everyone is stumped. Hope you have some luck with decoding this in the near future.


Mike Sludgesicle 4 years ago

i have a silver .925 pendant/pin/broach. the marking on it that i cant clarify is a 5 sided diamond with a G in the center. i have this amrk on 2 pieces i recently bought. any info that you could help me with?


humagaia profile image

humagaia 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Sorry Jeff, I have not come across this, so I am unfortunately unable to assist you.


jeff benedict 5 years ago

have candellabra silver plated on cast iron 6 branch has diamond shape with capital T in it any ideas think it maybe russian


humagaia profile image

humagaia 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Maria, I am not an expert but I believe that more recently cut diamonds have been lazered with their certificate number (I don't know when this started) in order to link the specific diamond to the specific certificate that was produced by one of the certification companies.

The presence of the number should put your mind at rest that it is a real diamond. But if you do not have the certificate I would ask why as the two should be sold together

I suggest you take it to a jewelers or pawn shop so they can give you more information about it. They may even be able to determine if it was stolen (without the certificate) - that is if you purchased it privately.

You could also try this search "laser number on diamonds" on Google.

Hope this helps a little - good luck.


MARIA 5 years ago

I have a Diamond with the registration # A2007090.

I have search and this diamond is not register in any resgistry, can you please help me?


humagaia profile image

humagaia 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

2 3/4 PTS means that the capacity of the teapot is 2.75 pints - if you had not worked that out for yourself. 642 could be a pattern number. If there are no other marks then it is unlikely that you will ever find out the maker. If it was registered in 1868 it is possible that production began shortly afterwards. Other than that I can be of no further assistance


Jim Burt 5 years ago

I have a sterling silver tea/coffee service with a mark that indicates it was registered on 9/8/1868. Besides the 'sterling' and 925 stampings, the only other marks are the number 642 on all the pieces and the mark 2 3/4 P 'T' S". This was an inheritance and I am trying to find more information on manufacturer, production date, etc. I would be very grateful for any information you could provide. Thanks.


humagaia profile image

humagaia 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

EPNS = Electro-Plated Nickel Silver, which means that it is not silver at all but an alloy of nickel. These will not be very valuable - most cutlery is of this type until recently. As for the A1 that is just a general mark that one will find very frequently. I am not sure but I believe I have seen it described as a sign of quality but I am happy to be told otherwise. As for Bakelite handles - I have not seen any of this type, so, if they are good design from the early years of Bakelite, they may have some value.


Laura Jones 5 years ago

I have a spoon it has four letters in a row. E P N S they appear as i have shown them. Above the S written left to right in capitals is AI. The metal spooned end is engraved, i believe by hand. The handle is possibly bakealight. Can you tell me what the letters mean. Thankyou.


humagaia profile image

humagaia 6 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Paul, if it looks silver but has no other markings than the diamond then it is silver plate not sterling silver. The article was registered in 1878.


paul e s 6 years ago

Hi. I have a silver? spoon which has no other marks apart from a circle above a diamond as in your description.At the top in the circle is the letter 1 beneath that is the number 9. To the right is what looks like a D but is slightly rubbed.At the bottom is 9.To the left of centre is 7 and in the centre is Rd.Is this silver and could you confirm any other info about it.Many thanks from paul e s.


humagaia profile image

humagaia 6 years ago from United Kingdom Author

J. if the Rd number is 5 characters then it shows a registration date of late 1886. The 3887 is a pattern number. The only pattern with that number I have in my database is for "Glorietta" pattern made by Noritake (a Japanese manufacturer) that will not have registered their product in Britain. The X is probably the artist or decorator mark. I presume the jug and bowl is a bathroom/bedroom set????? and therefore quite large. I would have expected an underglaze stamped mark on the base. If you hold either item at a slant to the light can you see any rounded indentations that could be a makes mark? I think the best bet is for you to send some photo's by e-mail. If you look at the top right of this Hub you will see "contact humagaia" - this will allow you to send an e-mail to me. I will continue this offline with you.


J .Duncan 6 years ago

I have a jug and bowl with an Rd marking(60650),that seems to indicate it dates between 1910 and 1920.I am interested to find out more about them.They have an almost ribbed appearance with a gold rim and a gold and black flower/branch pattern on them.(looks slightly Japanese)The overall shape is very unusual too.It is difficult to describe,but I will try.If you imagine a basic flower shape,but with just four petals(rounded rather than pointy)this is the bowl shape and the jug has three rounds and then the spout.The overall colour is an off white.As well as the Rd number there is another number written in gold and that is 3887 with an x underneath.I have looked on line,but cannot find anything at all like it,so any information would be great.

Thanking you in advance

J.Duncan


humagaia profile image

humagaia 6 years ago from United Kingdom Author

If there is no hallmark then it is not silver if it is british. My interpretation of your explanation about the position of the letters and numbers does not equate with the positioning for any registration combination which makes me wonder whether it is in fact a true British registration mark.

Does the diamond have "Rd" in the centre?

Is there any writing on the handle (most likely at the back)?


Polly Chandler 6 years ago

Hi. Your article on registration marks was so interesting! Thank you! My question is about the mark on my silver(?) stilton scoop. It has no hallmark, only a registration diamond, so I wondered if it could be sterling silver or is it silver plate? At the top, in a circle above the diamond is the letter I, then clockwise, 16, 1, A. There is nothing in the top part of the diamond. I would be grateful for your opinion. Best regards, Polly

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