Help with silver stamp/mark on watch chain....

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by PJQL, Apr 19, 2017.

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  1. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User
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    Jun 13, 2011
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    Hi all,

    I have an antique fetter link chain. On each and every link is a stamp...18C.
    However, it appears that it's a brass chain...but plated with...what? Silver? or white rolled gold?
    I've never come across this mark before. Does anyone recognise it or know exactly what it signifies?

    One small link surface has been previously ground to expose the bare metal beneath, presumably for an acid test..

    It's a really nice chain nonetheless...total weight is 35gms.

    Regards

    Piers
     
  2. MartyR

    MartyR Super Moderator
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    Dec 16, 2008
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    I have only seen gold chains with every link marked "18K" ... and they have all been high quality and very heavy solid 18 karat gold.

    I can only think that your "18C" mark is intended to indicate 18 carat (the European spelling) which also would mean solid gold - in this case white gold. If as you say it is actually a plated brass chain, then the marks are designed to deceive. There is no circumstance under which anyone would mark silver "18C", and also no circumstance I can imagine where anyone would try to assay a plated chain.
     
  3. Accutronica

    Accutronica Registered User

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    I would take it to a pro and have it tested.

    Robert
     
  4. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User
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    Thanks for that Martin,

    It's interesting that the marks seem to me quite...could I say "authentic"?, in that they look 'period'..definitely a far cry from the really poor quality efforts on continental cases!

    Piers

    - - - Updated - - -

    Thanks Robert....I will if I get the chance.....but local outfits charge a fortune down here!

    Piers.
     
  5. MartyR

    MartyR Super Moderator
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    Piers, it's very easy to conduct Archimedes' test on a chain - it just involves dunking the chain in a beaker of water - and that will be accurate enough to check if it's gold. This web page explains how to go about that. You probably don't have sufficiently accurate equipment to test for silver, but I doubt whether that would be important.
     
  6. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User
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    Cheers Martin :)

    Piers
     
  7. John Arrowood

    John Arrowood Registered User
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    Is the chain light in weight? There were some aluminum/aluminium chains sold in the late 1890's before the development of modern methods of producing the metal. I have a reprint of an 1897 Montgomery Ward mail order catalog which has an illustration of a similar chain; the chain was more expensive than gold plate.
     
  8. PJQL

    PJQL Registered User
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    Hi John,

    It is lightish.....35 gms....but it's definitely brass beneath the outer layer of...whatever it is.

    I'll post a close up of the 'ground' section tomorrow.

    Thanks for your input :)

    Piers
     
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