If you've ever had to buy gold jewelry or have inherited a piece of family heirloom made with gold, you were likely confused when you saw the markings on it. What do those symbols mean? Is this real jewelry gold, and if so, how much is it worth?
We’re here to answer all those questions about interpreting markings on your precious metal jewelry, whether for price evaluation or assurance that what you're wearing is genuine.
When it comes to an understanding the true value of an item made from solid gold, identifying its markings is essential – let us show you how.
Jewelry Markings on Gold
Whether you're shopping for a new pair of earrings or a beautiful necklace, the gold ornament that catches your eye is sure to have some special markings. Those markings will represent the purity of the gold in that particular piece of jewelry.
Suppose you've ever wondered what those markings mean. In that case, some common jewelry markings are karat (K), followed by a number denoting gold fineness, an assay mark showing where the item was assayed and hallmarks noting the manufacturer name and location.
Besides helping you identify the quality of your jewelry, these markings can also be useful in appraising its value - knowledge that could come in handy if you plan to resell it! The following markings are the most common in gold jewelry:
Generally speaking, gold jewelry is measured on the alloyed parts of gold on a scale of 24. The 24k marking means that 24 among the 24 parts is pure gold in that piece, known as the purest form of gold. This gold is extremely soft; if used daily, it might get worn out. The color of this type of gold is yellow.
18k markings are the most common ones. This marking states that your jewelry piece or ornament includes 75 percent gold and is marked as 750 at times. This purity is the most common level.
14k gold is the finest form of gold. It is also marked as .585 on some ornaments as it has 58.5 percent gold. Even though 14k gold jewelry contains less gold, it is highly valuable, and you can safely wear it daily. The 14k gold features a higher concentration of silver.
10k markings on gold mean that ornament or jewelry contains 42 percent pure gold. Some jewelers and companies also like to mark it as .417. Besides, 10k is the lowest level of gold purity, and you can buy or sell it legally.
HE markings on the ornaments indicate that the item is gold-plated. It is the most affordable and economically priced piece of jewelry. However, it is not the most durable out there and will eventually discolor. Jewelers often use multiple layers of various metals to slow down the process of discoloration.
GE marking means a single layer of gold is stuck to a metal base. This gold layer is much thicker than gold plate and has more gold. This marking looks like 1/20 12k GF. But the ornaments or jewelry with this marking will wear out with usage and time.
In The End:
So now that you know a bit about gold markings, what will you look for the next time you go shopping for jewelry? Charlie & Co. Jewelry has a wide selection of beautiful gold pieces with all sorts of markings – take a look! We hope this information was helpful to you.