Friday, August 21, 2009

Jewelry / Jewellery Hallmarks: Gold & Silver

Many people confuse hallmarks with makers' marks. A hallmark is nothing more than an indication of metal content, a guarantee of purity or quality, which may include a maker’s mark and other marks. Makers' marks alone are not considered hallmarks. Hallmarks are most often found on precious metal objects. Jewelry is exempted from hallmarking under certain circumstances. When a piece of jewelry is hallmarked, the marks can yield clues to country of origin and, sometimes, date of manufacture, as well as indicate the metal content of the piece.

American and European Fine Jewelry Hallmarks:

Gold Jewelry Hallmarks:

Besides the usual American marks of 10k, 14k & 18k seen on gold jewelry numbers are also used to mark jewelry today. These marks are primarily found on jewelry of European origin.

.375 is 9kt gold, a mark often found on English jewelry.

.585 is 14kt jewelry (58.5% gold in the metal mix)

.750 is 18kt gold jewelry (75% gold in the mix)

PLAT or Platinum if the jewelry is 95% or more platinum. Other marks are Pt1000, 1000Pt or 1000Plat for pure platinum; or Pt950, 950Pt.

If less than 95%, the mix is shown such as 10% irid plat, meaning the item is 90% platinum and 10% iridium (Iridium is actually more expensive than platinum. It is added for strength.). In addition, sometimes you will see imported items with 800 Plat, an 80% platinum alloy popular in a few foreign countries.

Silver Jewelry Hallmarks:

Sterling Silver jewelry is often marked 925 or .925 (92.5% fine silver in the mix)

Other European silver jewelry hallmarks include .800, .813, .875, .935, .980 and any other number of other variations that depend upon the amount of silver content.

European countries also use a variety of other symbols to mark silver jewelry and non-jewelry items.

These marks can be used in conjunction with purity or other designations.

England: the walking lion Scotland: the thistle, before 1975 Russia: hammer and sickle in star mark Sweden: "S" (in hexagon indicating 830 silver or higher) France: a boar’s head (from 1838 to 1961) and outside of Paris, the crab mark.

Non-Gold Jewelry Hallmarks:

HGE is Heavy Gold Electroplate (plated, not solid gold) .

Gold Filled is marked to show, by weight, an amount of a gold layer on the outside of base metal. For example, the mark 1/12 14kGF. This means the gold layer is 14k and is 1/12 the weight of the total metal in the item.

Many gold plated items do not have enough gold to rank and be marked as plated. These will have no mark.

Vermeil is gold wash or flash over sterling silver.


  1. There is nice symbols and all's are gorgeous.

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  2. Take a bow, sir. Easily the best thing I have read today pertaining to this arena. Lovely collection of facts presented artfully. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the good work.

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  4. Jewelry hallmarks makes a guarantee of purity or quality of a gold and silver. There is nice symbols to understand the gold or silver jewelry.
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  5. i found a whie gold diamond solitaire,,I think? On the inside of the ring are the marks

    14k 2.00Y AG

    What do these marks mean?