A Brief Introduction to Hallmarks on Georg Jensen Silver
|The Early Marks
There are a number of early marks from 1904, when Georg Jensen began his firm, until 1925, when a more consistent hallmarking system was used. Typically, you will find a "GJ" or "GI" .
This mark was used between 1915 and 1919.
Note that this mark bears the lower standard of silver with the 830 mark. Pure silver, like pure gold, is too soft and malleable to be used practically, as it has a similar consistency to lead. For many centuries, silversmiths have added alloys of other metals [typically copper, nickel or zinc] to harden the silver. The 830 mark means that 830 parts out of 1000 parts of the silver are pure and the remaining 170 are alloy metals. In other words, 83% of the hallmarked metal is made of pure silver.
The 1920's Mark
This mark was used between 1925 and 1932. Note that the standard of silver has been increased from 830 to 925 in line with most other countries. 925 is what is internationally referred to today as "Sterling" and contains a level of 92.5% purity.
Note that Georg Jensen silver manufactured prior to 1945 is considered to be "early" by Jensen standards.
The "Pin Prick" Mark
This mark was used in the 1930's.
This is the mark that perhaps causes most confusion. At first glance, it looks like the "Post 1945" mark [see below], but on closer inspection, it is possible to see that the mark is engraved [and not struck on with a metal punch as is the Post 1945 mark]. The details are also finer and less regular. When seen on smaller items, such as jewelry and flatware, it is often difficult to distinguish between the pin prick mark and the post 45 mark.
Note the 686 A marking. This is the design number, which you will see on virtually every piece of Georg Jensen [except flatware]. 686 refers to the design number 686 and the letter "A" afterwards refers to the size. Many designs were allocated a single design number but made in different sizes, which are marked with the letters, A, B, C etc. A Blossom teapot will always be design # 2 for example, but it was made in six different sizes and will be marked with a letter A, B, C etc to denote the size. Be careful with the lettering system, because although the design numbering is straightforward, the lettering system is not always consistent.
The GJ Square Mark
This mark was used between 1933 and 1944 and is easy to identify.
The Wendel Mark
This mark was used between 1945 and 1951.
Note the word "Dessin" and the initials "HN". "Dessin" is the French word for design and "HN" stands for Harald Nielsen Georg Jensen's leading Art Deco designer. The Georg Jensen Company was unusual in always giving full credit to its designers and you will often see the designer's two initials marked alongside the other hallmarks.
Post 1945 Mark
This is the mark that you will most often see. It is the mark used from 1945 until 1977. Be careful not to confuse it with the earlier [and usually more valuable] Pin Prick mark [see above]. This mark is often referred to as the "Post 45" mark or the "Pearlmark".
From 1977 to the present day, the Georg Jensen Company used the post 1945 mark but incorporated the Swedish date marking system. So for the first time, it is possible to date the piece by the individual year using a letter and a number. This mark shows "O 10", which is the mark for 1988.
The dates can be found listed below.