What Does 925 on a Ring Mean and How Much is it Worth? You might have come across a 925 stamp on a gold ring and wondered what that meant. However, that does not speak of the purity of the gold. In this article, we’re going to look at what it means, why it matters, and how much it’s worth.
What does 925 on a ring mean?
The stamp 925 is called a hallmark. It lets the buyer know the quality and authenticity of the metal. In this case, this hallmark does not speak of the gold content in the jewelry.
In essence, what you’re purchasing is not actual gold, but sterling silver that has been gold plated. Therefore, it is a sterling silver ring with a thin coating of gold on top.
For jewelry to pass as gold, they have to have at least 42 percent gold of being at the very least ten karats. The thickness should be 2.5 microns.
If your jewelry is gold plated, it will have other abbreviations such as GP (gold plated), GEP (gold electroplated), RGP (rolled gold plated), HGE (heavy gold electroplated) and HGP (high-grade electroplate).
The importance of knowing this information is so that a vendor, online or offline, does not defraud you by telling you that you’re purchasing an actual gold piece. That means that if you’re looking for gold, skip over the item and search for the following numbers.
It helps to take these numbers with you to memorize so that in case the karat is not indicated and the equivalent (parts per thousand) is present; you’re able to know exactly what you’re buying.
24K – 999
22K – 917
20K – 833
18K – 750
14K – 583
10K – 417
Additionally, below are the gold karat markings and purity percentages. That should help you also understand that indeed the 925 isn’t a reference to gold.
24K = 999 / 99.9%
22K = 917 / 91.7%
20K = 833 / 83.3%
18K = 750 / 75%
14K = 583 / 58.3%
10K = 417 / 41.7%
If there are no markings on the item, you should ask the jeweler to do an acid test. That means taking a small piece of gold. It is done by rubbing the gold-colored jewelry on a black stone where it’ll leave a mark.
What you then apply on this spot is nitric acid (aqua fortis). Should the mark dissolve, then the jewelry is not real gold. Should the mark remain, you add a mixture of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid (aqua regia) to the mark.
Should it dissolve, then you know that the jewelry is real gold. To know the purity or fitness of the gold, you’ll have to add varying concentrations of aqua regia and doing a comparative test.
How much is it worth? Why?
The issue when it comes to ‘gold’ items that are marked 925 is that inherently, they are sterling silver. Unless stated, it is difficult to know the karats of gold that have gotten used on the gold layer. It is also difficult to know how thick or thin the layer of gold is.
Therefore, its essence, a piece of jewelry that is labeled 925 is worth as much as sterling silver, with a markup for the quality and quantity of gold that got used to make the item.
If you’re going to a pawn shop to take your ring, for example, don’t expect to get the item valued as gold. You are better keeping the ring with you. However, that is not the end of it. What other types of material is the jewelry item made out of? Is it just sterling silver plated with gold, or are there other additions to it?
There are other factors that determine the value of a piece of jewelry is the stones attached to the item. By itself, sterling silver is inexpensive, but when gemstones get added, the value of the ring automatically goes up. That is why you can find one piece of a sterling silver ring on Alibaba going for $0.5 and another $16.
To buy or not to buy?
If you’re looking for a gold piece, then the obvious route to take is to keep shopping for gold instead of settling for sterling silver.
However, if you’re a bit more flexible, you can opt for the sterling silver with gold coating. It is an affordable alternative for those who do want to wear gold but are unable to afford the price of getting one. Unless you’re dealing with jewelers or those with a trained eye, a person cannot tell that you’re not wearing an actual gold piece.
If you are indeed opting for sterling silver then you can go right ahead and make the purchase. For example, if you’re getting a ring, you get the durability that sterling silver is known for and the gold appearance that you’re looking for.
The benefit of sterling silver is that you’re able to get the strength of sterling silver and a lifetime of durability.
With this information, you’re able to know what kind of jewelry to purchase without being taken advantage of.
You’re also able to make the right call when you’re shopping without guidance online. It also helps explain the price of the piece of jewelry you’re getting. You will automatically find it cheaper than a gold item; that helps explain why you’re buying it for that much.
In general, sterling silver is a worthy metal to invest in as it will give you long service, and what’s more when it has a layer of gold.