The city of Turkey officially changed its name from “Constantinople” to “Istanbul” in 1930. It was not until many years later that the K Zildjian Cymbal factory updated its cymbal stamps. The first stamp that included the word “Istanbul” used a tall narrow font, and eliminated the word “trademark” which had appeared on earlier stamps under the word Constantinople.
This stamp was the last one to use the old fashioned way to abbreviate the phrase “and company” as “& Cie“. Later stamps all use “& Co.” –
Another example of Stamp I.
Old Stamp IIa (1945-1949)
The phrase ‘K Zildjian’ was shrunk compared to the preceding stamp.
Also now the font for the word “Istanbul” is as tall as the star and moon. Stamp I used a smaller font which was shorter than the star and moon.
Old Stamp IIb (1949-1950)
This stamp is almost identical to IIa except that it has a big K. The word “Zildjian” is top-aligned with the K, as though it were a superscript.
It should also be mentioned that these are also often referred to as Stamp III because of the big K. In fact, that might even be more common than calling it IIb. Still, those that refer to this as a “III” do not provide the nuanced IIIa, IIIb, IIIc that can be found frequently used to distinguish these cymbals and date them. –
Here is another example. It is interesting the case of each of these examples to make note of the shape of the word “in” in the phrase “Made in Turkey” because the word “in” becomes taller in later stamps.
Old Stamp IIIa (1950-53)
The Moon becomes thinner for in this stamp, and the word Zildjian is bottom-aligned with the letter K.
The word “in” from “Made in Turkey” also appeared smaller on the preceding stamps.
Old Stamp IIIb (1953-1956)
The font for the bottom word “Zildjian” grew taller in this stamp. This is the only difference I’ve ever been able to see and it makes this stamp difficult to distinguish.
More photos and a soundfile after the jump.
Some of the cymbals from this era have an amazing tinny smoky sound. This is a 17″ cymbal that weighed 1,165 grams. Listen to the soundfile.
Another cymbal from this era. The stamp photo (above) was taken from this cymbal. Notice the large bell, which was common during this era.
Another image of a stamp from this era.
Old Stamp IIIc (1956-57)
This stamp is distinguished by the position of the star further away from the inside of the moon. The phrase ‘Made in Turkey’ appears more horizontal on this stamp, that is: less hooked around the moon. This is the only stamp with this arabic script and the spread out “Made in Turkey.”
Another example of this stamp.
Old Stamp IVa (1957-58)
The Arabic in this stamp has been stylized with a different font. The Arabic part of Stamps IV are often illegible — there are more examples after the jump. – The difference between IVa and IVb has to do with the star and crescent moon.
Stamps from this era are notoriously difficult to read. Even this one is exceptionally legible.
Old Stamp IVb (1959)
The star and moon look different in this stamp, and “Made in Turkey” wraps around it. –
This 16″ cymbal has a lathing pattern sometimes seen on cymbals from this era, where the tonal grooves are clustered closer together, then spread apart in concentric circles. It makes the cymbal look like the rings of Saturn.
Underside of the above 16″ cymbal.
This ink stamp was found on an old stamp cymbal of this era.
The star and moon look different in this stamp, and “Made in Turkey” wraps around it.
This image, from a polished cymbal, provides the most detailed image of the Arabic, while the star above the crescent is missing. Still, the tight wrapping of the words “Made in Turkey” identify it as IVb.
Intermediate Stamp (1959-1966)
The intermediate stamp replaces the former block of Arabic text with some sort of gibberish symbols. It is not Arabic, unless it is the Comic Sans font for Arabic(?) I seriously don’t know what the symbols mean. If anyone knows, please share. – The English component of this stamp always seems to have some stamping problem, so it is often illegible. The distinguishing feature is the combination of the small-sized star in the crescent with the non-standard symbols where one would expect the Arabic. –
Another shot of the intermediate stamp.
Here’s another intermediate stamp that more clearly displays almost all of its elements.
Here’s an image of a beautiful 22″ ride from this era. This was an extremely thin cymbal, around 2250 grams. The 22″ rides from this era are wonderful.
This is an 18″ crash/ride from the same era. More of a medium weight cymbal at 1750 grams.
New Stamp (1967-77)
The so-called new stamp looks very similar to the intermediate stamp, with the main difference being the size and location of the star above the crescent moon. Also, the stamp seemed to imprint the English more thoroughly than with the intermediate stamp, but there is often double stamping, as the cymbalsmiths pressed the stamp twice by hand. –