The following is a discussion of the major Canadian manufacturers of sterling silverware in the 20 century.
Henry Birks & Company was established in Montreal in 1879 as a retail jeweller.
Some countries, like France, use symbols rather than numbers, and so 925 would never have been used in those countries. A link to her site can be found on the Educational and Informational Sites page under Reference on my web site (last listing on the page). it would not come into use until after the sterling standard was introduced by england in the later part of the 19th century. goverment standards have been set for centuries and vary as to marks and country.
If you can find a copy of Tardy's International Hallmarks on Silver, you will have a better idea of what I'm talking about. US silver companies such as Gorham and Tiffany often used both marks in the late 1800's.
GORHAM HISTORY The origin of Gorham are in 1831 when the firm of Jabez Gorham was joined by Henry L. In its history the firm assumed these names: Gorham & Webster (1831-1837), Gorham webster & Price (1837.1841), J. The company moved into a new headquarters in Providence, RI in 1890 as employment surpassed 500, and in 1905 they opened a retail outlet on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
Gorham & Son (1841-1850), Gorham & Thurber (1850-1852), Gorham & Company (1852-1865), Gorham Mfg. Throughout the latter half of the 19th century and into the 20th, Gorham attracted some of the best designers and silver artisans in the world.
After serving his apprentiship, he formed a partnership with Christopher Burr, William Hadwen, George C. Mumford about 1815-1818 at which time he purchased his own shop to manufacture small items and became known for his "Gorham chain" unequaled at the time. In 1836 the firm was called Gorham, Webster & Price.
With Stanton Beebe he made jewelry until 1831 with Henry L. When Gorham's son, John joined the firm in 1841, the name was changed to Jabez Gorham & Son.
In 1850, three years after Jabez Gorham retired, the company name was Gorham & Thurber. The firm was chartered by the Rhode Island Legislature as the Gorham Manufacturing Company in 1863.
Their rapidly expanding business of doing one-of-a-kind pieces on commission for major world figures and events expanded their profile and introduced Gorham to an international clientele.
Gorham continues to operate today reflecting the principles of its founders, and it signifies the best in American silverwork comparable to the best of Europe and the far east.
So most Jewellery made by fine houses in Scandinavia will in fact be marked 830s but will have a standard silver of 925.
Places like Egypt still today only use 830 silver I would just like to correct one point.