What Are Gold Jewelry Stamp Meanings?(Detailed Explanation)

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What are gold jewelry stamp meanings? Gold is regarded as one of the most precious metals of all metals used in jewelry, but not any piece of jewelry made of gold is actually made of authentic gold. And understanding what different gold stamps mean is crucial in ensuring that you get your money’s worth.

Whether you are a man or a woman, you’ve come across gold jewelry numerous times. But it doesn’t mean that the jewelry you purchased is authentic.

Even with a stamp inside the ring, for example, you can only determine the quality and the authenticity of that piece of jewelry once you understand what it means.

So, what are the different gold jewelry stamps, and what do they mean?


Stamps and hallmarks on Gold Jewelry

The gold stamps in the gold jewelry are essential because they describe the level of fineness or purity of the gold. And this is the primary reason why there are different types of gold stamps.

What you need to know, however, is that only the most authentic of the gold jewelry will have the stamps or the etching on the inside.

Now, if you are reading this, you will be relieved to know that not even all professionals understand half of what the etchings mean, which means that if you are looking for more information about gold jewelry, this article is without a doubt a good option for you.

For authentic gold jewelry, there are different stamps, for example, a585 or 14K gold.


Some Digit Numbers on gold jewelry-Gold Purity Marks

The numbers or digits on gold jewelry are important, and they tell you just how pure the gold is.

These numbers are specified in the thousandths, which means that for you to determine the percentage purity of the gold, you’d have to move the decimal point in only one place, making the 750 gold ring 75.0% pure gold, which translates to 18k gold.

Here is an illustration of what we are talking about:

999 Gold means 24k gold, which is also referred to as the three nines fine. 990 gold is also known as the 23 karat gold or the two nines fine. 916/ 917 on gold jewelry is the 22 karat gold, 833 is 20k gold, 750 is 18 karat gold, 625 is 15k gold, and 585/ 575/ 583 is 14k gold.

The other options include 417 for 10k carat gold, which is pretty much the minimum acceptable standard for gold in the US; 375 for 9-carat gold, and finally, 333, which is used for 8-carat gold or the minimum acceptable standard in Germany from 1884.


Hallmarks on gold jewelry

In addition to the karats and the percentage purity of the gold jewelry, the gold jewelry often come with an additional standard marking/ stamp referred to as the hallmark.

These hallmarks tell more about the gold jewelry, and it’s just as important as the numbers or digits used.

For gold, here are some of the hallmarks you should be aware of:

GF for Gold Filled

GF means Gold Plated.

P stands for Plumb Gold (this is guaranteed as the least amount of karats on gold jewelry stamps)

KP stands for Karat Plumb.

Most of the time, the gold jewelry you are interested in could have different marks and stamps. One of the stamps is often there to represent the percentage purity of the jewelry, for example, the 14k gold. The marking for purity could also be accompanied by another mark, which is referred to as the marker’s mark or the jeweler’s stamp.


Jewelry Maker’s Marks

Most of the time, the gold jewelry you are interested in could have different marks and stamps. One of the stamps is often there to represent the percentage purity of the jewelry, for example, the 14k gold. The marking for purity could also be accompanied by another mark, which is referred to as the marker’s mark or the jeweler’s stamp.

The maker’s mark can be described as the custom stamp or the engraving that’s placed in jewelry to show who manufactured the piece of jewelry. The maker’s marks could be in the form of initials or letters, but there are cases where the marks used are ornate icons are used. As a result, the jewelers’ marks will differ from one jeweler to the other.

What you may not know is that the jewelers’ makers’ marks don’t represent something new, and they have been around for over a century, which means that they can be found in antique jewelry.

If you are in the United States, the National Gold and Silver Stamping Act enacted in 1906 requires all jewelers in the country to incorporate a high accuracy purity mark that also indicated the materials used in the jewelry at the time. Then in 1961, the government further mandated all manufacturers of jewelry to include a maker’s mark to indicate the jewelry’s manufacturer.

If you look at the French jewelry scene, on the other hand, the use of jewelry maker’s marks dates back to much earlier, and the marks were first seen during the 13th Century.  

Some of the common maker’s marks include company names, trademarks, logos, as well as designer signatures intended to specify who made the jewelry. The iconic jeweler, Tiffany & Co, features numerous maker marks on its jewelry throughout history, and the most common marks in their almost 180-years history include the infamous Tiffany &Co, as well as the T&Co stamps.

Cartier is the other brand that’s been keen on maintaining the marks as required by law, and in addition to their antique and vintage pieces, all of Cartier’s jewelry today features the engraving of the Cartier logo, in addition to a serial number that is unique to the individual pieces.


Other Symbols Stamped on Jewelry

If you are buying jewelry from the UK, for example, you will note that they contain a series of optional and compulsory jewelry marks. One of the compulsory marks, for example, is the Assay Office Mark, a marking/ symbol that is indicative of the regional office where the items were hallmarked.

Some of the common Assay Office Mark symbols include the anchor signifying Birmingham, Leopard’s head that represents London, a rose that stands for Sheffield, and the castle that represents Edinburg.

It’s also important to note that while the jewelry made in the United States comes with 14K or 18K stamps, jewelry in European countries will have hallmarks. Generally, the hallmarks tell more about the jewelry piece’s history, often, the country that the piece of jewelry is from, the date it was made, and the artist who made the jewelry.

Notably, from 1838, the eagle’s headstamp on gold was indicative of the jewelry made in France, and they have a minimum purity of 18k gold. The Boar’s head, on the other hand, is the mark for the Paris assay office. On the other hand, the marks for jewelry made out of the capital city, with a crab emblem.


Last Tip for Understanding the Meaning of a Gold Marking

While this article focuses on the common stamps and markings in jewelry and mostly the basics of gold jewelry markings, it offers details of everything you need to know about the common stamps and hallmark signs for gold jewelry.

Generally, some of the gold jewelry will have the 14k or 585 marking, which means that it contains 14 karat gold. However, there are cases where the marks might be followed by numbers and letters. Just bear in mind that there are cases where the markings or stamps on the gold jewelry aren’t really indicative of the actual content of gold in the jewelry piece.

But as mentioned above, the purity of gold is expressed in fineness or karats; and the more the number of karats, the higher the gold content in the gold piece,

Often, the first marking is all about the item’s purity.


Some Tips for Avoiding Counterfeit Gold Jewelry

While gold, like silver, represents two of the most highly sought-after pieces of branded jewelry on the market, the issue of fake jewelry and being able to counter the risks around authentic gold remains a huge challenge.

And whether you are buying the jewelry online or from a physical store, the markings on the gold jewelry are important.

So, if you are looking for gold jewelry online, you may want to look at the markings on the gold pieces.

Understand what different markings mean for jewelry from different parts of the world, and also how you can find the pieces of jewelry that offer you the best value for your money.


Frequently asked questions by our readers.

Does all real gold jewelry have a stamp?

This might not be a law that applies to gold in all countries, but in the US, gold jewelry must have an authenticity stamp thanks to the law that mandates that all the gold jewelry cold in the country must be stamped with the marking showing the gold’s karat number.

According to this law, the real gold purity could deviate up to 0.5 carats specifically from the karat’s stamp.

Therefore, for 14K gold rings with 14k stamps, that piece of jewelry could only be 13.8 or even 13.6 karats, but nothing less than 13.5 karats.


What does 14kp mean on gold jewelry?

KP Gold refers to plumb gold. What this means is that the gold is made of 14k true gold and not 13.8k or 14.1k gold. Such jewelry could be purer, though.


What does B mean on gold jewelry?

This is another of the conventional hallmarks of gold jewelry.


What does SG mean on gold jewelry?

SG or Special Gravity refers to the term used to describe or compare the density of gold in relation to water. SG for gold differs from 19.32 for pure gold to an SG of 10.9 for the 9K gold alloy.



So, there you have it. If you are looking for more information about gold jewelry, we hope that this article offers all the information about all you need to know about gold jewelry.

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