Here in Egypt we have 900 silver and up (hallmarked) and thats the most common grade of silver we have here (this applies to gold too, we dont have 9 karat or 14 karat gold here. In silver jewelry you might find less grade depending on the design.
So most Jewellery made by fine houses in Scandinavia will in fact be marked 830s but will have a standard silver of 925.
Places like Egypt still today only use 830 silver I would just like to correct one point.
Some Hallmarks on Gold and Silver are rarer either because the Assay Office is no longer operating or the hall marks refer to special years or events.
The Assay hallmarks feature; Chester, Exeter, Glasgow and Newcastle.
The are many reasons for using it over sterling silver. Most of the imports currently being mis-labeled as hill tribe silver are done in Ag .980, The smiths I've met over there prefer it because it is softer and easier to stamp and forge than sterling.
It melts at a higher temp and so folks over there do not like it for casting however.Its hotter melting temp is one of the reasons that enamellists often use it here in the states.Due to its lesser copper content it tends NOT to tarnish as much or a quickly.The following list is compiled from emails of Silver Forum subscribers: The list consists of designers and maker's marks that have been difficult to find in reference materials so far.The left box of each row is for the mark, either a photograph or text indicating the name found on the piece.of jewelry, the right box describes the "mystery piece" or designer.