Depending on what is known about the maker's mark on a piece of silver, an index of maker's marks can be searched according to images, country of origin, silversmith's name, production company, or the time period in which the silver piece was made.
It is important to note that there are often different marks or images on a piece of silver and that these images have different meanings. These marks may represent the hallmark, the maker's mark, the place in which the piece was made and the year in which the piece was made. A hallmark is a mark that is sanctioned by the country of origin to assure the quality of the silver. The maker's mark is a mark that signifies who or what company made the silver piece. This is similar to the signature that an artist signs on a painting, and each maker has a different mark.
Many silver indexes offer a variety of ways to search for the maker's mark on silver pieces.The most common way is to find the country in which the silver piece was manufactured and then to search that country's image index for a maker's mark. Some online indexes also offer users the option of sending a picture of the maker's mark in question and will respond with information about the maker's mark and the silver piece.