What do the markings mean?
There are many types of gold. The most common types of gold are listed below.
- Yellow Gold
- White Gold
- Rose Gold
- Green Gold
- Black Hills Gold (Style of gold using combinations of all of the above)
Before testing you will want to look for the jeweler's markings which can tell you what type of gold was used to make the jewelry. Please keep in mind it is possible to have fake items or mis-marked items and so testing it will always be the best way to tell what you really have.
Below are some of the most common markings for gold for items of real value.
- K = Karat ----example: 14k
- KT = Karat ----example: 14kt
- KP = Karat Plumb ----- example: 14kp
- .333 = 8K
- .375 = 9K
- .417= 10K
- .500 = 12K
- .583 = 14K
- .585 = 14K
- .625 = 15K
- .667 = 16K
- .750 = 18K
- .833 = 20K
- .875 = 21K
- .917 = 22K
- .958 = 23K
- .999 = 24K
Below are some of the most common markings for items of NO real value. These markings are considered costume jewelry.
- GF = Gold Filled ----example: 14k GF
- GS = Gold Shell ----example: 14k GS
- HGE= Heavy Gold Electroplate ----example: 14k HGE
- 1/5 = 1 part gold to every 5 parts not gold ----example 1/5 14k
- 1/10 = 1 part gold to every 10 parts not gold ----example 1/10 14k
- 1/20 = 1 part gold to every 20 parts not gold ----example 1/20 14k
- 1/30 = 1 part gold to every 30 parts not gold ----example 1/30 14k
- 1/40= 1 part gold to every 40 parts not gold ----example 1/40 14k
Some jewelry may have additional markings which are referred to as the makers mark. This mark is typically placed by the jeweler so that the origin of the item can be found. For example 14k JD or JD 14k could mean the item is 14k gold and the maker's name is John Doe. The makers mark is not limited to just first and last initials and can be any mark the jeweler decides to use including symbols.
What if your item has no markings? There are many reasons why an item may not be marked and sometimes the markings can be so small you need a loupe or magnifying glass to find it.
Below are a few common reasons why an item is not marked but could still be real gold.
- The mark has been scuffed or worn off.
- The item has been re-sized or repaired.
- The item was not made by a professional jeweler (homemade).
- The item was custom made with no markings.
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How do I know my gold is real? & What do the markings mean?
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