Common identification markings on silver-plated items include a crowned lion's head, a silver maker's name and the word "coin." Another common identification marking found on silver-plated items is an anchor.
Silver-plated items often contain letter stamp markings. These markings provide the year the item was manufactured with each letter of the alphabet representing one year. When the alphabet starts another cycle, a new font is used to differentiate the current cycle from the previous cycle.
The silversmith often marks silver-plated items with his initials, but in the past, the silversmith marking was represented by animals or plants suggesting the silversmith's family line. The oldest silver-plated items sometimes display no common identification markings other than the maker's name.
The word "coin" was etched into early U.S. silver-plated items. These items also use anchors and the heads of monarchs as markings. The presence of a crown on a silver-plated item means that the item was made after the year 1898. Due to a certain silver production regulation, silver manufacturers had to add the crown symbol to their pieces. An item that does not have the crown marking was created before 1898.
Silver-plated items that display a lion's head marking are composed of British sterling. The lion's head marking is used to date silver-plated items due to its multiple appearance changes over time.