What does the stamp in my ring mean?
If you are considering selling your gold, it may be helpful for you to be armed with a little information before you venture out. If you know what the stamps on your jewelry mean, you will have a way to know if the buyer is being honest with you.
There are many stamps on jewelry. These stamps are usually found on the inside of a ring, on or near the clasp of a chain or bracelet, on the back of a pendant, and on the back or even the posts of earrings. Stamps are used by manufacturers to give information about the jewelry's manufacturer, designer, gem carat weight, and metal purity. The most important stamp when selling gold is the stamp which identifies the metal and purity of the metal.
Here is a list of the most common metal stamps and what they stand for:
10k-10 karat gold
14k-14 karat gold
18k-18 karat gold
20k-20 karat gold
22k stands for 22 karat gold
24k stands for 24 karat (pure) gold
A small "p" after a gold stamp stands for plumb (which means "exactly")
.417 stands for 10 karat gold
.585 stands for 14karat gold
.750 stands for 18 karat gold
.833 stands for 20 karat gold
.999 stands for 24 karat (pure) gold
To explain the numbers above a little bit better, they are actually percentages of pure gold. For example, .585 means that the ring is 58.5% pure gold and the remaining, unstamped, percentage (41.5%) indicates the amount of alloy in the piece of jewelry. Since pure gold is very soft, alloy (other stronger metals) are mixed with the gold to provide strength which is needed to hold diamonds and gems and resist bending and scratching. The higher the karat, the more pure and soft the gold is.
PLAT stands for platinum
PT stands for platinum
900 or 950 stands for platinum (90 or 95% pure platinum mixed with alloy)
10%irid-platinum stands for platinum alloyed with 10% iridium
S.S., Steel, St. Steel all stand for stainless steel
Sterling, S. Silver, SS all stand for Sterling silver
925 stands for Sterling silver ( which can be plated with gold)
.925 stands for Sterling silver
silver stands for silver of unknown purity, usually below 92.5% pure
G.F. stands for gold filled (a term which means gold plating on a base metal)
G.P. stands for gold plated (over a base metal)
A gold stamp (ex:14k) followed by H.G.E means the jewelry has a heavy gold electroplated finish, but is a base metal underneath.
You will see many other stamps in jewelry, but these stamps are the ones used to identify metal. If you are selling your jewelry, ask the buyer to let you use his loupe (the magnifying eye piece that he inspects your jewelry with) so that you can see these stamps for yourself. It is important that you know the decimal stamps used to identify gold so that you are not led to believe that your gold is less pure than it really is.
At Thollot's, we are willing to show you these stamps and help you understand what they mean. We believe that when we educate you, we empower and protect you, and we hope that in doing so, we will earn your trust.