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FAQ: JEWELRY HALLMARKS



WHAT IS A JEWELRY HALLMARK?


A jewelry hallmark is a mark stamped on a piece of jewelry that indicates its purity or authenticity. Gold, silver, and platinum are the most common metals used in jewelry. Each metal has its own purity standards, which are expressed in karats (for gold), fineness (for silver), and parts per thousand (for platinum). A 14-karat gold ring, for example, contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of other metals, whereas a 24-karat gold ring is pure gold. Hallmarks can also indicate the piece's maker and when and where it was made.


When shopping for jewelry, it's important to be aware of the different hallmarks and their meaning. Here are some of the most common jewelry hallmarks:


Karat (KT or K) - Indicates the purity of gold, the higher the karat number, the purer the gold.


Fine Silver (FS) - Indicates that a piece consists of at least 99.9% pure silver.


Sterling Silver (SS) - Indicates that a piece consists of at least 92.5% pure silver.


Platinum (PT) - Indicates that a piece consists of at least 95% pure platinum.


Gold-Filled (GF) - A layer of at least 10 karat gold bonded to a base metal.


Gold-Plated (GP) - A thin layer of gold coated to a base metal.


Hallmark (HL) - Indicates that an official assay office has officially hallmarked a piece.


Maker's Mark (MM) - Indicates the maker of the piece.


Assay Office Mark (AO) - Indicates where the piece was assayed (tested for purity).


Date Letter (DL) - Indicates the year of the piece's creation.


Country of Origin Mark (COO) - Indicates the country of origin.


When shopping for jewelry, it's important to look for hallmarks that indicate the purity of the metal and the piece's maker. These marks will help ensure that you're getting a quality piece of jewelry that will last for years to come.



WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT JEWELRY HALLMARKS?


Jewelry hallmarks are kind of like fingerprints that help to identify a piece of jewelry. While they might not seem important at first, they can unlock a wealth of information about your beloved baubles! Knowing how to spot them is essential for any jewelry aficionado – so let’s get started!


  1. Because jewelry trademarks are typically very minute, you may need to use a magnifying glass to view them well.
  2. Most jewelry hallmarks are located on the inside or back of a piece of jewelry and can come in various forms.
  3. Depending on the country of origin, the order of the marks may differ.
  4. Some jewelry may not have all three marks or additional jewelry marks not covered here. 



HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY JEWELRY MAKER MARKS?


The jewelry maker's mark is usually a combination of letters and/or numbers uniquely identifying the jewelry maker. The number of letters and/or numbers in a jewelry maker's mark can vary, typically between two and six characters.


These stamps typically include the manufacturer's initials, name, or another unique representative symbol.



WHAT IS 585 ON JEWELRY?


A 585 jewelry stamp indicates that jewelry contains 58.5 percent gold and 41.5 percent alloy. The 585 jewelry stamp marks European gold jewelry, while the United States has a different jewelry hallmark system.


585 on jewelry is similar to the 14 karat gold markings in the United States, which indicates that a piece contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of one or more different metals. The 585 jewelry marking means a piece has 58.3 percent gold content.


The jewelry mark 585 is not used as often as the 14K jewelry stamp, although the jewelry mark 585 indicates the same thing that jewelry contains 58.5 percent gold and 41.5 percent alloy.



IS 585 GOLD?


Yes, the stamp 585 on jewelry marks European gold jewelry. 585 stamped on jewelry is among the 14 karat gold markings.



IS 585 REAL GOLD?


Yes, the 585 jewelry marking indicates a piece is 14 parts real gold and 10 parts of one or more different metals. 585 stamped on jewelry means it is 58.3 percent pure gold content.



WHAT DOES 750 STAMPED ON JEWELRY MEAN?


The 750 stamp on jewelry is a hallmark that indicates the piece contains 75% pure gold, or 18 karats. This is one of the highest levels of purity for gold jewelry, and it is often used in pieces where a higher level of quality is desired. The other 25%, or 6 karats, consists of alloy metals such as silver and copper. This helps to make the piece more durable and resistant to wear and tear.

 


WHAT DOES 333 MEAN ON JEWELRY?


The hallmark 333 means 8k gold, slightly less than 9k gold, called 375. The gold number stamp denotes the parts of pure gold out of 1000; in other words, 333 parts of pure gold out of 1000 total units are in 8k gold.


 

WHAT DOES 925 MEAN ON JEWELRY?


925 markings on jewelry pieces mean that the pieces are sterling silver. 925 markings on jewelry are a universal standard used to indicate the purity of silver.


The jewelry number 925 is significant because it means that the jewelry piece is made of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. The other metals used can vary, but they are usually copper or nickel. The jewelry number 925 means the alloy is more resistant to tarnishing than pure silver, which is why it is often used in high-quality jewelry.


The number 925 on silver also indicates the purity of silver in other products, such as flatware and serving pieces. The term "sterling silver" describes products that meet this standard of purity.


925 on silver means it is sterling silver. In contrast, 925 on gold jewelry indicates that the piece is gold plated. The 925 on gold indicates that the piece has 92.5% silver content, and the rest consists of other metals such as copper or nickel. The gold plating on jewelry pieces with 925 markings is usually thin and not counted in the total content.



WHAT IS 925 ON GOLD?



925 on silver means it is sterling silver. In contrast, 925 on gold jewelry indicates that the piece is gold plated. The 925 on gold indicates that the piece has 92.5% silver content, and the rest consists of other metals such as copper or nickel. The gold plating on jewelry pieces with 925 markings is usually thin and not counted in the total content.


The 925 silver mark's meaning varies depending on location. For example, a ring with 925 engraved on the band might have a different percentage of gold depending on the country where the manufacturer made it. For instance, a ring with 925 engraved on the band in the United States must have a minimum of 92.5% gold content, but in Europe, the standard is lower, with a minimum of just 58.5%. Thus, the 925 silver mark's meaning also depends on the country of origin.


 

WHAT DOES 925 ITALY MEAN ON JEWELRY?


The 925 Italy hallmark means that the sterling silver comes from Italy. The 925 Italy hallmark means that the sterling silver is of 92.5% purity or 925 parts per thousand. The 925 Italy hallmark is a symbol of quality and craftsmanship.


 

WHAT DOES GF MEAN ON GOLD JEWELRY?


Letter markings on gold jewelry is commonThe "gf" markings on gold jewelry stand for "gold-filled." The "gf" markings on gold jewelry means that the jewelry was made by bonding a layer of gold to a base metal, usually brass. This process is much cheaper than solid gold, but the end result is a piece of jewelry that looks very similar to solid gold.


 

WHAT IS 825 JEWELRY?


The 825 stamp on jewelry is the same as 19 Karats of gold; for example, an 825 ring represents a purity rating of 82.5 percent, meaning an 825 ring contains more than 82 percent gold.


The 825 stamp on jewelry means that 825 parts out of 1000 are gold (82.5%).

 


IS 825 WHITE GOLD?


Yes, the stamp 825 on jewelry can indicate that a piece of jewelry consists of white gold. The stamp 825 on jewelry usually marks pieces of European gold jewelry.


 

WHAT IS THE 375 STAMP ON GOLD?


The 375 stamp on gold marks that the piece is 9 karat gold. 9 karat gold consists of 37.5% gold and 62.5% other metals, usually copper and silver.

 


WHAT DOES 950 STAMPED ON JEWELRY MEAN?


950 on jewelry, a.k.a 950 silver, means that jewelry is 95% pure metal and 5% alloy metal. 950 on jewelry means that the 950 silver consists of 95% pure silver.


 

IS 950 PLATINUM GOOD?


Yes, 950 platinum is good. That is why 950 platinum is worth more than gold and is popular in many high-end products.

 


WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 950 VS. 999 Platinum?


The 950 jewelry mark is one of many other common platinum jewelry markings. The 950 jewelry mark signifies 950 platinum, which contains 95% pure platinum, while 999 platinum contains 99% pure platinum.


Other common platinum jewelry markings include "Platinum," "PLAT," or "PT" followed or preceded by the numbers "950" or "999."

 


WHAT DOES 9999 MEAN ON GOLD?


9999 fine gold contains the mark .9999, denoting the purity of the gold as a decimal fraction. 9999 fine gold means the jewelry is 99.99% pure gold.


In a similar fashion, 9999 silver contains the mark .9999, denoting the purity of European silver as a decimal fraction. 9999 silver means the jewelry is 99.99% pure silver.



WHAT DOES 800 STAMPED ON JEWELRY MEAN?


800 stamped on jewelry symbolizes the jewelry piece's silver purity. The mark 800 stamped on jewelry indicates that your silver object is 80% pure silver and 20% alloy.



WHAT DOES THE STAMP 325 MEAN ON JEWELRY?


The 325 marking on jewelry signifies the gold fineness. The 325 marking on jewelry expressed as a percentage is 325 parts gold (out of 1000). 325 gold is not a common gold standard.


So, in other words, the 325 stamp on jewelry means that a piece of jewelry is 32.5% pure gold, making the 325 marking on jewelry equivalent to 8 karats or 8K.



WHAT DOES 715 MEAN ON JEWELRY?


The stamp 715 hallmarks jewelry that is 715% parts pure gold or silver (out of 1000) or 17 karats (approx.). The remaining 285% of the metal in a piece of jewelry with a 715 marking on it is usually copper or silver alloys, depending on the desired color and hardness of the final product.



WHAT IS 926 JEWELRY?


The 926 stamp hallmarks jewelry that is 23 karats of gold; for example, a piece of jewelry with a 926 stamp means that it contains 92.6 percent pure gold. In simpler terms, the 926 stamp on jewelry indicates that 926 parts out of 1000 are gold (92.6%), while the remaining part of the jewelry usually consists of hardening agents such as silver, copper, nickel, and zinc.


This gold number stamp differs significantly from 925, which means silver. 925 silver is an alloy of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper, to give the silver strength and durability.



WHAT DOES 835 STAMPED ON JEWELRY MEAN?


835 is one of several European silver jewelry markings; it denotes 83.5% silver and 16.5% copper. This translates to 835/1000 silver. The mark 835 is a common hallmark for European silver pieces, but it is not as popular as the 925 or 999 marks commonly seen in America. 



WHAT IS 5929 ON JEWELRY?


If you look closer, you'll see that the 5 is actually an S jewelry mark. The 925 stands for 92.5%, which is the Sterling silver standard. So, for example, a piece of jewelry with the inscription S jewelry mark 925 is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper (usually copper).



WHAT DOES 685 MEAN ON JEWELRY?


Pure gold content is commonly expressed in decimal form with jewelry markings; for example, you would express 16 karat gold with the mark 685 gold. In Italian custom, however, 685 gold denotes 14 karat gold.



WHAT ARE MARKERS MARKS ON JEWELRY?


Makers marks, a.k.a jewelry signatures, are usually located on the back of a piece of jewelry and can tell you a lot about who made the piece, where the jeweler made it, and when. Maker's mark jewelry can be simple initials, like "K" for Krementz, or more elaborate symbols, like a crown for Cartier. Sometimes there will be more than one jewelry signature on a piece of maker's mark jewelry, which can help narrow down its origin. For example, if a piece has both a French hallmark and an English import mark, you can be pretty sure its creation took place in England for the French market. Knowing a bit about a maker's and jewelry marks can be helpful when trying to date and identify a piece of jewelry.



WHAT ARE 14K GOLD JEWELRY MAKERS MARKS?


A maker's mark and a jewelry hallmark are not the same. However, the jewelry hallmark differs because it is unlike a maker's mark, which is a brand staple or jewelry signature.


14k gold jewelry makers marks are jewelry signatures that signify 14 karat jewelry made by a specific brand or group of brands.



WHAT DOES THE STAR HALLMARK ON GOLD MEAN?


Letters are more common on gold jewelry than stars, but the star mark is sometimes used. The star hallmark on gold is simply a symbol that indicates the grade of the gold; for example, a gold piece stamped with the star hallmark and 750 means that it is 18 karat gold.

 


WHAT DOES P MEAN ON JEWELRY?


P after a stamp, like "14KP," denotes 14 Karat plumb. This stamping informs the consumer that the piece contains about 58.5% gold, as stated on the 14KP label. However, not every 14-karat piece is precisely 14-karat. If the object includes more than 13 karats or 54.2% gold, the jeweler may brand it 14 karat.



WRAPPING UP


Jewelry is a great way to express yourself, and understanding the different hallmarks and markings can help you be sure that your jewelry is made of the highest quality metals. Knowing the difference between a maker's mark, a hallmark, and other stamps can help you identify the type of metal in your jewelry, who made it, and when. European and American standards can vary, so be sure to double-check before making a purchase. With this information, you should feel more confident when buying jewelry! Happy shopping!