British Legion Gold Badge Birmingham Hallmark Date Letters 1928 to 1971
For the benefit of members and potential members we have made available the following Birmingham assay office hallmark date letter list starting from 1928 up until 1946 when the Large badge was replaced by the Small badge. A question now arises in that Brian Harding's book "Keeping The Faith" suggests 1930 was the year of the first inception of the Gold Badge a newly discovered badge has a hallmark of 1928, .
The Standard Mark
This confirms that the article is in fact of the correct quality. For gold, various symbols have been used over the years, but that most commonly seen is a Crown gold together with a figure such as 22 or 9 defining the carat value of the gold. More recently, a figure such as .375 has been used to define the actual proportion of gold.
Assay Office Mark
This denotes the office which carried out the Assay. The most commonly seen marks on the Gold Badge are a Anchor (Birmingham) Birmingham.
The date letter (example below) is the mark which is most useful to our members. Each of the Assay Offices uses a different letter each year. The yearly letter until recently varied from one office to another, so it is necessary to consult the lists for each particular office when dating an item. The typeface (font), the case of the letter (upper or lower) and the style of the surrounding shield are all relevant, and should be compared carefully with the published lists.
Date Letter Lists
Date Letters 1928-1945
The large Badge in Gold is from the Birmingham Medal and Badge Company (BMBC) 26mm x 26mm is hallmarked Birmingham Serif letter "G" 1931 which indicates that it is one of the Legion's earliest awarded Legion Badge in Gold. Although a much older gold badge has become known to us hallmarked 1928.
Since the recent acquisition of the British Legion Head Quarters Branch Price List Feb 1937 we have had to re-evaluate some of our collections and two new miniature gold badges have come to light both manufactured by BM &BC (7mm x 9mm) one hallmarked 1941 and the other hallmarked 1938 but with a screw-back and seen in the British Legion Gold Badge exhibition.
Date Letters 1946-1970
The small Badge in Gold a 1947 hallmarked "X" JRG&S (J. R. Gaunt & Sons) which is one of the first of the smaller badges believed to have been proposed at the first post war 1946 Annual Conference and measuring 20mm x 20mm.