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It has been a while since I was here on this site. Thankfully I bookmarked the site otherwise I would not have made it back.
I need some assistance with some silver marks on this pendant. I purchased this item a year or so ago. It is 1.5" tall and 1" wide.
It has a .925 mark at the top and Mexico on the bottom. The part that baffles me is the CXX.
I thought it might be:
(a) the makers mark.
(b) region or state in Mexico where the item came from. I don't think that is it.
I have some decent amount of jewelry hallmark/marking knowledge. This one baffles me. Any help would be appreciated.
.925 is the indicator for Sterling silver. If it is an older piece, it is probably Sterling silver, if it is a newer piece, it may not be (unfortunately, too many people are marking non-Sterling with .925 to make more money).
As for the other mark, they are capital i not x, so it is CII, that indicates a contemporary jewellery maker in Mexico.
It "looks like" CXX or CII, but it's actually C-11, which stands for Section C, Design #11 in a book of mexican marks.
There's one like yours for sale(auction). https://www.etsy.com/listing/250778914/vintage-sterling-silver-mexi...
This Etsy link suggests it's 1980s, but using Mexican silvermarks C-11 I found 3 replies that stated 1990 or newer (to current day); further states it was sold on-line; and that the black stone is an onyx cabochon.
I still maintain it is CII. (These being two capital i letters and not lower case L letters or the numeral 1)
I believe all the variations out there in the description of this mark being CII vs C11 is due to the font set being used. David's example, and mine following, both use a serif font. A serif is a design element of the lettering by way of a small line attached to the ends of a letter or symbol. Whereas the instances of the mark being referred to as C11 are more likely due to the font set being used which does not have the serifs, aka san serif font.
David's item simply has a different serif font and a deeper and therefore slightly distorted imprint, resulting in a less than sharp finish causing the capital i's to look more like CIX or CXX.
Here is another item with the serif mark, stamped lightly, clearly reads as CII. (C with two capital i)
While there may indeed be a book out there which happens to list this mark with an indexing number of C-11, I believe it is either a coincidence, or there is more than one similar, yet different mark around, or more likely, the author of the book got it wrong as so many others have shown to be uncertain by writing multiple options in their item's description for sale.
The author whom you say "got it wrong" writes books for a living. His book was most recently re-published in 2013. Scroll down, you'll see it. https://www.amazon.com/Little-Mexican-Silver-Trade-Hallmarks/dp/097...
I don't know if Australia has lending libraries. In the USA we can obtain most books for free at our local library.
You mentioned several possibilities, I can think of 2 others. One, many Mexicans are ignorant of the English language and may confuse II with 11. Two, it could be a fake. (Not saying it is, just saying).
Good point, the English language is easily mistaken with some letters and numbers. I generally do consider linguistic circumstances, but my mind has not been very clear of late. My grandmother recently passed away and I have had to contend with the funeral and family squabbling etc...
Given the wide variety of different characters used across the jewellery pieces I've seen, I agree it is highly probable the stamps themselves may be the incorrect letters used, but possibly still by the original creator. Likewise, fakes do exist... Overall, we are not much help in identifying the pieces authenticity. :)
Although, many authors can and do make mistakes, even those who write books for a living, I think it feasible to assume the marks could have been intended to be C11, though I've not seen the book, nor what C11 actually references.
Oh and yes, we most definitely have libraries here as well. It's not all dirt and kangaroos here.... though admittedly, some of it is. :)