Most precious metal jewelry is equipped with certain hallmarks on it. This is a written sign of gold purity & what your jewelry is worth. With different hallmarks existing in different regions of the world, it can be difficult to understand. But once you learn to recognize and read hallmarks, it’ll help make identifying your jewelry a breeze!
Common Gold Hallmarks
Gold is one of the more complicated ones, being that it’s the most popular and sought-after precious metal for jewelry. Because of that, it has different hallmarks depending on where you got it from. In many countries, such as the U.S & UK, hallmarks are mandatory for them to sell on the market. In others, such as China or Italy, it’s voluntary. But most authentic gold jewelry will be stamped for the added value & prestige.
These are some of the most common gold hallmarks and means for their gold content.
|Gold Purity Stamp||Gold Percentage||Stamp Variants|
|375||37.5%||9k, 9 Karat, 9KP|
|416||41.6%||10k, 10 Karat, 10KP|
|582-585||58.3%||14k, 14 Karat, 14KP|
|750||75.0%||18k, 18 Karat, 18KP|
|916||91.6%||22k, 22 Karat, 22KP|
|999||99.9||24k, 24 Karat, 24KP|
Other stamps may be an indication that your gold is either plated or filled. If that’s the case, it can have a very negative impact on the value of your jewelry. When deciding on what gold jewelry to buy, keep an eye out for these stamps!
- “FILLED”, “PLATED”
- “GP”, “GF”, “RGP”, “EP”, “HGP”, “HGE”
- “1/10”, or any fraction.
These stamps are all indications that your jewelry is not solid gold, and should be avoided. There are other ways to check your gold, but this is the quickest and easiest.
Are Hallmarks Always Right?
No. As much as each country tries to regulate and verify the authenticity of hallmarks, it’s simply impossible. There are too many on the market and they can be easily faked. And with the value of gold being so high, it gives plenty of incentive to propel its value. Even if that means falsifying stamps onto fake gold.
Other stamps can be authentic but only be real for small pieces of jewelry. So one piece stamped 22k might be real, but the rest of the jewelry may be lower karat or even fake.