Click on the letter you want to date or on a date letter cycle (column) in the table below to see a larger view (scroll down for earlier dates):
There is evidence of hallmarking activity in Edinburgh since 1485 when a statute required that all goldsmith's work be marked with his own mark, the deacon's mark and the town mark, the Deacon of Goldsmiths being responsible for the assay. My tables of Edinburgh hallmarks show the deacon's mark and town mark from 1552 until 1681 when the deacon's mark was replaced by an Assay Master's mark and a date letter was introduced. From then until 1974 the date letter was changed annually in September when the officers for the following year were elected.
The Hallmarking Act of 1973 brought the remaining 4 British Assay Offices (London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh) into line with each other with the date letter now changing (from 1975) on 1 January each year.