Italian gold is touted as the best version of gold used for jewelry worldwide. And as the world’s fashion capital, it makes sense that Italy also boasts some of the world’s biggest and best jewelers and jewelry brands.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always mean that it is easy to recognize Italian gold jewelry, and this means that you could be defrauded easily, especially when you don’t know what to look out for exactly. You are in luck, though, because we don’t want you to struggle to find authentic pieces of Italian gold jewelry or to waste your hard-earned money.
So, this article shares important insights into everything you need to know about authentic Italian gold jewelry.
To do this, we’ll share with you a list of the important hallmark signs and authenticity markings that you should know about to be able to identify which of the gold jewelry you are about to buy is authentic Italian gold jewelry.
Is Italian gold hallmarked?
Yes, most Italian gold (jewelry) is hallmarked, which means that the jewelry is not only recognizable by the fine yellow hues and the precise, high-quality, but with specific markings that make it easy for you to identify the gold jewelry.
Across Europe, for example, Italian gold jewelry is identified using the fineness mark of authenticity rather than the karats to indicate the actual content of pure gold in the gold jewelry.
So, instead of 14k or 18k gold, the jewelry will have a 585 or a 750 stamp on it.
18K Italian gold also tends to have the 750 marks, and in cases where the percentage of gold is higher, say 78.5, the gold jewelry will be hallmarked 785, etc.
It’s also important for you to keep in mind that most of the gold jewelry from Italy is made of 18k gold, and 14k gold is used very rarely.
Also, there isn’t much 10k Italian gold jewelry on the market, which would mean that 10k gold jewelry with the Italian name to it is very likely a fake piece.
Why gold hallmarks?
Well, it appears that the use of hallmarks dates back to medieval times to the mid-19th century where the hallmarks were used for consumer protection.
This changed in the 1840s when the hallmarks would be falsified as a way of avoiding taxes.
This went on until the 20th century when good hallmarking practices were put in place in a way that would make it possible for experts to identify fakes.
The interpretation of the hallmarks would require a keen, professional eye.
What does Italy’s stamp on jewelry mean?
Generally, Italy stamped on your jewelry means that the jewelry is made in Italy, with gold (or other materials) also obtained from Italy.
How do you identify Italian gold jewelry markings?
Generally, Italian gold jewelry is identifiable from the 3-digit numbers that represent the percentage purity of the gold jewelry.
But that is not all; there are two main symbols that are used to identify the gold jewelry – these symbols/ shapes encircle or surround three zeros.
The rectangle with circular shapes on each of the width of the rectangle represents 18k gold jewelry whose purity level of gold is more than 750/1000 parts, while the other symbol with a less than and greater than symbol with 3 zeros means that the 18k gold jewelry has exactly 750/1000 parts of pure gold making up that jewelry.
Today, Italian gold jewelry will have either of these hallmark stamps, followed by the karatage for the gold, meaning that 18k gold (ITALY) would also feature the 750 stamps on it.
Italian gold jewelry makers marks list
The gold jewelry’s maker’s mark represents that mark that shows the brand or person behind that piece of jewelry.
It was an important mark traditionally because it would mean easy recognition of who made the jewelry, especially if any kind of problem related to the jewelry arises.
The makers’ mark was also used as a way of authenticating the purity percentage of the jewelry so that if the jewelry turned out to contain less than the stated percentage of gold or silver, for example, there would be someone to be held accountable, directly.
The makers’ marks are also known as the trademarks, and they offer evidence of the piece of jewelry being manufactured by that specific jeweler.
So, jewelry with the maker’s marks would be considered ‘signed’ jewelry pieces, either by the manufacturer or the maker.
In Italy, the makers’ marks are only assigned to the registered goldsmiths, and the use of the marks is overseen by a national body such as the Chamber of Commerce.
While these marks would evolve over time, a record is maintained, which allows historians and appraisers to date the items accurately.
France’s Administration de la Garantie, for example, is one of the bodies that stored the copper plates that held the jewelry makers’ marks, as was required by law, and this allowed them to create records of the mark. Unfortunately, these plates were destroyed.
Most of the jewelry made in Italy also bears the brand name, as is the best form of makers’ mark in the jewelry world today.
Note that there are cases where the province codes are also incorporated to determine the details of the gold jewelry. In Italy, province codes are used, and each province that the jewelry is from is identified using the first two letters of the identifying province the jewelry is from.
Note that the Maker’s mark has to be registered by the Assay Office, an office that tells more about where the jewelry purity was tested.
For gold, here are the common stamps:
- 999 – 24K gold
- 990 – 24k Gold
- 916 – 22K Gold
- 750 – 18K Gold
- 585 – 14K Gold
- 375 – 9K Gold
Oftentimes, authentic Italian gold jewelry will feature high-quality markings featuring not just the percentage purity of parts of fineness for the gold jewelry but also the karats, the brand/ goldsmith’s trademark, and the assay office stamp that shows where the purity level was tested for that jewelry.
Read more jewelry metal posts here or here!
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.