Ehc meaning gold

Ehc meaning gold DEFAULT

The difference between Gold, Gold Plated and Gold Filled Jewelry

If you’re the type of person who appreciates vintage and antique jewelry, you’ve probably come across jewelry that’s described as “Gold”, “Gold Filled” “Gold Plated” or one of a dozen other phrases with the word Gold in it. When shopping for vintage and antique jewelry, whether on eBay or in your local antique mall, it’s important to know the difference between these common phrases. Not all “Gold” is created equal.

In order to get a real understanding of all these terms, you have to first understand some basics about gold itself.


Gold is an elemental metal. This means that pure gold is made up of nothing but gold atoms. Other examples of elemental metals include copper (made of nothing but copper atoms); iron (made of nothing but iron atoms) and aluminum (made of nothing but aluminum atoms).  In its natural form, gold is orangish-yellow in color (sometimes called “buttery” yellow), has a bright shine (high luster), is very soft (it scratches easily) and is very malleable (it can be hammered and stretched easily with iron tools).


Example of Elemental Gold In Its Natural “Nugget Form”

When people talk about the “Price of Gold” or the “Spot Gold Price” or “Gold Bullion” – they are talking about pure elemental gold. Pure gold is so soft, however, that it is rarely ever used to make jewelry because it cannot hold up to daily use. For example, a pure gold ring would constantly lose its shape and any stones set in it would be at risk of coming loose.  Rather, most jewelry is made from a “gold alloy”.  An alloy is a combination of any two metals. For example – brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Brass is made by melting down copper and zinc and “stirring” them together.

Similarly, gold alloys are made by melting down pure gold and combining it with another metal (usually silver, copper or tin). 99.9% of the gold jewelry on the market today is made from a gold alloy of some type.

Indicating Gold Content

Because gold jewelry is usually sold in alloy form, it is important to know how much pure gold it contains – and thus its inherent value. There are two common systems (known as “Fineness Marking”) for indicating gold content in jewelry – the Karat System and Numeric System.

In the United States, and countries which export heavily to the United States, the Karat system is used. In the Karat System, pure elemental gold is referred to as 24K gold. There is no higher standard in the Karat System than 24K gold (you will sometimes see scams where people claim to be selling 25K, 26K and 28K Gold – this is simply an attempt by a dishonest dealer who is trying to take advantage of an unknowledgeable customer).

24K gold is gold in its purest form without any other metal added (though even most 24K gold usually has minute traces of other metals in it. That’s why even fine gold bullion is labeled 99.999% Gold instead of 100% Gold).  Gold alloys are represented in the Karat System based on the number of “karats” of gold contained in each alloy. For example, in the United States you will commonly see 14 Karat and 10 Karat Gold. 14 Karat Gold consists of 14 parts (aka “karats”) gold and 10 parts (aka “karats”) some other metal (58.3% pure gold). 10K Gold consists of 10 parts gold and 14 parts some other metal (41.6% pure gold). Other common indications are:

  • 18K = 75% Pure Gold
  • 12K = 50% Pure Gold
  • 9K   = 33% Pure Gold (common in British and Antique Pieces. It is technically unlawful to represent 9K gold in the U.S. as being solid gold)



Example of a 14K Gold Mark with the manufacturer’s name “Esemco” beneath. U.S. Law Requires All Manufacturers to include a maker’s mark along with the fineness mark. 

While not very common in the United States, you will sometimes encounter 20K, 21K and 22K Gold items. These are usually of Middle Eastern (e.g. Kuwaiti) or Far Eastern (e.g. Hong Kong) origin.

Outside the United States (and a few other Western Countries), the dominant fineness marking system is a numeric system that indicates the amount of pure gold a basis of parts of one thousand. For example, if something is 18K gold (75% pure gold) then it is 750 parts out of 1000 pure gold. It’s a fraction – 750/1000 = 0.75 or 75%.  In the Numeric Marking System (sometimes called the “European System” or “Convention System”) you use the first number. So an item that was 75% gold (18K in the Karat System) would just be marked 750. Similarly, an item that is 58.5% Gold (very close to 14K in the Karat System) would be marked 585. Other common markings are:

375 = 375/1000 or 9K Gold

875 = 875/1000 of 21K Gold



Example of a 750 Mark with the manufacturer’s mark “RA” above.

While most countries will use either the Karat System, Numeric System or a combination of both, a few countries still use a pictorial hallmarking system. Hallmarks are slightly different from fineness marks because they indicate that the fineness of the metal has been approved by a governmental or quasi-governmental entity. Under a pictorial hallmarking system, the amount of pure gold contained in a piece of jewelry is indicated by a specific picture or symbol – for example – a common animal or the profile of a person. Modern jewelry will almost always also have a numeric marking in addition to the pictorial hallmark. Antique pieces, however, will often have just a pictorial mark or no mark at all.

If there is no marking, how can you tell whether or not something is really gold?

The first thing to keep in mind here is that a fineness mark or hallmark is just a label put on something by a person or machine. While these marks are a good indication that something is actually gold, the mark is only as valuable as the person who put it there. Anyone can order a set of hallmarking stamps off a website and stamp non-gold with 14K, 18K, 750 or any other mark. The only way to know you are getting real gold is to buy from a trusted dealer or test it yourself.

Gold can be tested in several different ways. In our store, we use two methods – Acid Testing and X-Ray Fluorescence. They both have advantages and disadvantages. For more information on gold testing – see our article “Gold Testing Basics”.

Gold Plated and Gold Filled Jewelry

Now that we know what gold and gold alloys are, it’s time to talk about gold plated and gold filled jewelry.

Gold Plated Jewelry:

Gold plated jewelry is NOT gold jewelry. Gold plated jewelry is jewelry made of a base metal (e.g. copper) or silver that has a very thin layer of gold applied to the top. The layer is so thin, that it can usually be rubbed off with a coarse pencil eraser in a few swipes. Some plated jewelry has a “thicker” layer of gold than other plated jewelry, but the difference is insignificant on the grand scale of things. When buying gold plated jewelry, you should consider the gold plating as nothing more than a coloring (an aesthetic attribute) – there is almost no inherent value to the gold applied. It doesn’t matter if it’s 24K, 14K or 18K.

Example of a Designer Gold Plated Bracelet with Natural Agate

This doesn’t mean gold plated jewelry is “junk” or “uncollectible”. To the contrary, much of the vintage and modern gold plated jewelry on the market is very desirable and a pleasure to wear. Common marks for gold plated jewelry include:

  • 14KGP — (Note: don’t confuse 14KGP with just 14KP. 14KGP means 14K Gold Plate. 14KP means 14K Plumb – which is “dead on exactly” aka “plumb”  solid 14K Gold) The “14” can be substituted with 10, 12, 18, 24 etc.
  • 14K HGE  — 14K Heavy Gold Electroplate. This means the gold plating layer was applied using electrolysis. The “14” can be substituted with 10, 12, 18, 24 etc.
  • 24K Gold Plated — This means the plating layer is 24K gold. It usually indicates electroplating.
  • Vermeil — Means gold plated sterling silver or fine silver. It’s regular old gold plating – except the underlying metal is sterling silver of fine silver instead of a base metal.
  • Gold Over Sterling Silver —Same as vermeil.
  • Gold Wash — Regular old gold plating with a nicer name.
  • Gold Clad / Karat Clad — In a technical sense – clad means that gold layer was pressure bound to the underlying base metal. However, “gold clad” is a common synonym for any type of gold plating.
  • Bonded Gold — Here again – this just means gold plated. As with all gold plated jewelry, some bonded gold jewelry has a thicker layer of gold plating than others – but the difference is negligible.
  • 10 Microns / or another number followed by the word microns or the symbol for micron “µ” – this means that the layer of gold plating is 10 microns thick
  • Plaque Or – usually followed by a number of Microns. This is seen on French / Swiss pieces, especially watch cases. It means gold plated.

Gold Filled Jewelry

Gold filled jewelry is NOT gold jewelry. Gold filled jewelry is made by taking one or more sheets of solid gold (14K, 12K, 18K, etc) and wrapping them around a base metal under intense pressure. The gold sheets are effectively “filled” with something other than gold. Unlike gold plated jewelry, gold filled jewelry has a commonly measurable amount of actual gold in it. Like gold plated jewelry, some gold filled jewelry has a thicker layer of gold than other gold filled jewelry. In some instances, the weight of the gold is actually marked on the gold filled jewelry.

For example – mid 20th century and later pieces are very often marked 1/20 12K Gold Filled. This means that 1/20 of the metal weight of the item consists of 12K Gold (remember that 12K gold itself is an alloy consisting of only 50% gold – thus a 1/20 12K Gold Filled item is 1/20 12K gold and 1/40 pure gold).  Common gold filled marks include:

example of 12kt

Example of the 12KT. G.F. mark on a rose brooch   

  • G.F. (stands for Gold Filled – U.S. Law requires that items marked this way be at least 1/20th gold by weight )
  • 1/20 12K G.F. (this is one of the most common marks)
  • 1/10 12K Gold Filled (The “12K” can be substituted with 10K, 14K, 18K etc.) (1/10 of the piece is gold weight).
  • 12KT G.F. (The “12” can be substituted with 10, 14, 18 etc.).
  • 20/12  — This is shorthand for 1/20 12K Gold Filled (you will also sometimes see 14/20, 12/10 etc.)
  • Gold Filled — (same as “G.F”)
  • 14K Rolled Gold; 14K Rolled Gold Plate; R.G.P.; 1/30 R.G.P.; 1/40 R.G.P.  – all of these markings stand for “Rolled Gold Plate” which is usually, but not always 1/30th or less solid gold.
  • ¼ 14K Shell — This means ¼ of the metal weight of the item is solid 14K gold. (The “14” can be substituted with 10, 12, 18, 24 etc.)
  • 1/5 14K Shell  — This means 1/5 of the metal weight of the item is solid 14K gold. (The “14” can be substituted with 10, 12, 18, 24 etc.)
  • Guaranteed 10 Years; Guaranteed 20 years; Warranted – seen on watch cases. This means the watch is supposed to have a thick enough gold layer to last 10 or 20 years of normal handling before wearing off. Gold weight values – but the 20 year watches are usually at least 1/10 10K gold by weight.
  • 1/20 14K G.F. Sterling Silver — This means that instead of a base metal, the gold layer is wrapped around solid sterling silver. Common on pieces from the 1940’s and 1950’s and also in new studio jewelry.

Mixed Metals

Occasionally you will encounter jewelry that is made of Solid Gold and another precious metal. This jewelry will often be marked with a gold fineness mark and a fineness mark for the other metal (e.g. Silver, Platinum, Palladium).

The example below is a U.S. Marine Corps Ring. The Marines emblem on the ring is solid 14K Gold. The remainder of the ring is sterling silver. The ring is thus marked 14K and also .925, which is the numerical marking for Sterling Silver (925/1000 silver). See our article on silver for more info on Sterling Silver.

U.S marine corp ring1U.S marine corp ring2

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June 24, 2019 | 5 Min Read

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in this business, it’s this - if something is valuable, there’s someone out there who will try to counterfeit it.

Watches. Purses. Sunglasses. You name it. If they can fake it, they will. This theory holds true with plenty of different types of merchandise, and we constantly see them brought through our shop.

The most common counterfeit item brought into our shop? Fake Gold.

Fake gold is brought into our store at least 2-3 times a day. Of course we don’t blame the customers. Most of the time the gold they are bringing in was sold to them as real. They got duped.

That’s why we created this quick guide to spotting fake gold. Now anyone can easily tell the difference between a real piece of gold jewelry, and a piece they should completely avoid.

How Do You Spot a Fake Piece of Gold?

Spotting fake gold can be a very simple process. We typically take 3 different steps to determine whether or not a piece of gold jewelry is fake. We’ve listed each of the 3 steps in detail below, but first we need to go through a quick definition of fake gold.

What is fake gold?

We’ve used the term ‘fake’ multiple times already in this article. It’s good to point out, however, that most ‘fake’ gold is not counterfeit. A counterfeit piece of gold jewelry would be a ‘fake’ piece of gold that is being passed off as real. A majority of the ‘fake’ gold we see is not being passed off at real, as it is clearly stamped exactly what it’s made of.

That brings us to the first step in testing gold to determine if it is real:

step 1: look for stamps

The majority of gold pieces that come into our shop have what’s called a stamp or hallmark. Stamps are small engraved areas of the piece, typically in a hard to see location, that detail the purity of the metal as well as the manufacturer of the piece.

Unless you have incredible vision, you’ll need a magnifying glass to see most stamps and hallmarks. We use a 10x jewelry loupe in our store to locate and read hallmarks.

Stamps are important to check because you can easily weed out fake gold in most cases, simply by looking at the stamp.

First, let’s take a look at the ‘good stamps’ to see on a piece of gold jewelry. These are the stamps that would point to a piece of gold being real.

good stamps to find and what they mean:

  1. 10K or 417 — 10 Karat Gold or 41.7% Gold

  2. 14K or 585 — 14 Karat Gold or 58.5% Gold

  3. 18K or 750 — 18 Karat Gold or 75.0% Gold

  4. 10KP — 10 Karat Plum (exactly 10K or higher)

  5. 14KP — 14 Karat Plum (exactly 14K or higher)

  6. 18KP — 18 Karat Plum (exactly 18K or higher)

  7. 925 — 92.5% Sterling Silver

  8. PLAT — Platinum

  9. PT — Platinum

  10. 900 or 950 — Platinum

  11. K or KT — Karat

If any of the stamps from the list above are on your piece of gold jewelry, you could have a real piece.

Important: Just because a piece of gold is stamped with one of the stamps from the list, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s real. Further testing is required to be certain. Remember — fakes are everywhere.

Counterfeiters can easily put a real clasp that says 10K on a fake piece of gold. Always test further. This is only Step 1.

Now let’s take a look at some ‘bad stamps’ that can be found on jewelry:

Bad stamps to find and what they mean:

  1. GF — Gold Fill

  2. GP — Gold Plated (Don’t confuse with Plum)

  3. 1/20 10K — 1/20 of the piece is 10 Karat Gold

  4. HGP — Heavy Gold Plate

  5. HGE — Heavy Gold Electroplate

If you ever see any of the stamps from the list above, avoid buying the piece of jewelry. These stamps clearly tell you that the piece of gold jewelry you have is not real.

After you’ve checked the stamps so you know what you are working with, it’s then time for the magnet test.

step 2: the magnet test

The magnet test is super easy. Real gold, no matter the purity, is not magnetic. So what is the magnet test? You simply stick a magnet to the piece of gold in question, and if it sticks, it’s fake.

This test can’t be performed with a household magnet from your refrigerator, however. You do need something a little stronger to make sure it’s done properly. We use rare earth magnets in our shop which are very strong magnets. This way we know that we’re getting good results from the test.

How to perform the magnet test:

  1. Take the gold in question and put it on a flat surface.

  2. Use a rare earth magnet and touch the piece of gold.

  3. If the piece attracts to the magnet, it’s not real.

Now that we’ve finished the first two tests, we can move on to the final test to determine if your gold is real.

step 3: the acid test

The final test we use to determine if a piece of gold is real is the acid test. This test is a little more complicated than the first two, but it is much more accurate.

Important: The acid test uses nitric acid which can be harmful if swallowed, inhaled, or is in contact with your skin. Use this test at your own risk and definitely do not leave the test around small children, or dumb adults.

what you’ll need:

To perform the acid test, you’ll need a gold testing kit. You can easily pick one of these up from Amazon for $10-$20. The kit comes with 10K, 14K, and 18K acid, as well as a black polishing stone.

How to perform the acid test.

Take the black polishing stone that comes with the test kit and put it on a flat surface. Take the piece of gold you are testing and scratch it on the polishing stone. You will see a visible mark on the stone from the gold.

Next, you take the 3 acids, starting with 10K, and place a drop of each on the scratch. If the scratch disappears, it’s not real. If the scratch stays, it is probably real.

Use all three acids to determine what karat gold you have. If the scratch stays on 10K acid but not on 14K acid, your piece is 10K gold

Important: The acid test, like all other tests, requires experience. If you fail to do your due diligence and use all three tests, the acid test might give you a false reading. Be sure to use all three tests when testing gold to ensure you’ve done it properly.

if all else fails

Let’s be honest. All of this can be a lot of work. It’s great to know what you’re doing, and I know that some people prefer to do it themselves. But, if you find yourself in a situation that you need a piece of gold tested, feel free to always bring it by the shop for us to do the dirty work for you.

We will always test gold jewelry for customers for free.

That’s right, for free.

It doesn’t matter if you decide to sell it to us or not. You can bring it to us for testing.


Fake gold is everywhere. As a buyer, you need to be informed of what types of gold are out there, and what you should avoid. Stamps and hallmarks are easy ways to identify gold, but they’re not always accurate. To accurately verify real gold, you’ll need to do a magnet test, as well as an acid test. These tests can easily be done at home, but if it’s something you’re not comfortable with, you can ALWAYS bring it by our shop for us to test it.

That should be everything you need to know to be able to spot fake gold!

Leave us a comment if you found this article useful!

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How To Understand The Meaning Of Gold Hallmarks

How to understand the meaning of gold hallmarksOne of the main uses for Gold is Gold Jewelry. When buying a gold necklace, a pair of earrings, a bracelet or a ring you really need to look at the gold content in what your buying and think about what this jewelry will be used for.

Many people are not aware that the gold content or that the pureness of the gold alters the softness or hardness of the metal. So it would be useful to determine how often you will be wearing your jewelry. Gold is a soft metal and can easily bend or be broken when in its most purest form.

This is a simple and informative guide for understanding gold hallmarks, how to identify them and the methods used for testing the purity of gold.

How To Understand The Meaning Of Gold Hallmarks

Gold is measured in caratage or ‘kt’. When buying gold jewelry you may purchase 24kt, 18kt, 14kt or 10kt gold in the USA. Other countries also allow 9 & 7 kt gold to be sold. The purest of gold is 24 kt. When you add other metal alloys such as copper, silver or palladium the hardness of the gold is increased. So the 24kt gold will be softest and then 10kt the strongest due to the other metal added to the gold.

meaning of gold hallmarks

Hallmark Stamps

A guide to common hallmark fineness stamps:

Finess Carat Gold Content (%)

333    8    33.3 375    9    37.5 417    10    41.7 585    14    58.5 620    14.8    62 750    18    75 800    19.2   80 875    21   87.5 916    21   91.6 990    24   99 999    24   99.9

Purity of Gold

Originally, the gold marks were impressed by a union of goldsmiths. These goldsmiths are the individuals who examine or check the purity of the gold product, and they are the people that mark the gold in their guild hall. By this process, the name “hallmark” was originated. Nowadays, these hallmarks are managed by assay offices. From these assay offices gold products are examined for their purity through several tests.

There are two main methods for testing the purity of gold. The Touchstone Gold Test and XRAY Fluorescence.

Touchstone Method

This method involves scratching some of the gold along a touch stone and the using different strength acids to determine the purity.

  1. Strike the unknown Gold down the touchstone to leave a thin layer of Gold on the stone.
  2. using standard testing needles trike a line for 10, 14, 18 and 22kt Gold
  3. Use the acid that has the strength to dissolve the 14kt Gold and wipe it across the Gold lines.
  4. If the unknown Gold is stronger than the acid it will not dissolve.
  5. Continue using stronger acid solutions until the Gold is dissolved.

touchstone gold test and testing stick for gold

XRAY Fluorescence

This technique is the fastest way in identifying the fineness of such gold item. It is also useful with accuracy between 2 to 5 portions per parts. This not only evaluates the transparency of gold it could also verify the amount of the added impurities.

xray testing of gold

Destructive Test

For an accurate extent of the pureness of the gold parts for every item, a destructive method is needed. The most accepted method used in identifying the pureness of gold is called “Cupellation”, or “Fire assay”. This approach requires the dissolving of the golden item. The metals utilized in the gold alloy is divided and measured. This technique is the considered as a perfect one.

Since Fire Assay is not a helpful method and all gold products produced, it must be evaluated. The standard practice includes all three evaluating methods to be employed. While choosing a small number of items to undergo such process like cupellation, the other will undertake the touchstone technique either or the x-ray fluorescence system, or sometimes both.

gold jewelry

With these techniques used in identifying the excellence or transparency of gold in alloys, then you can be guaranteed on what you seize or own meets up the claim of the producers of that item. However, gold hallmarks indicate that your gold piece qualifies the international standards for gold distinction. It also indicates the excellence of your golden item in such a way.

Additionally, manufacturers certified that their claim for the transparency of gold employed for each item is certainly true. Pure gold is usually too elastic to be used for anything. For any reason, other metals are combined to gold and produce gold alloys to be employed as unrefined material for creating gold crafts. The dilemma with this is that if metal is added to gold, then the cash value of gold will go down.

The Durability of the Gold

What are the various marks of gold? Most of the time, gold can be marked in several ways. Gold jewelry is often pounded with specific marks that offer information on its fineness. These marks assist the consumer to find out the value and genuineness of every piece of jewelry. Most jewelry has at least one mark specifying the content of the gold. Therefore, all consumers who want to purchase jewelry should better check the marks.

18 Karat Gold

The term “karat” implies to the amount of gold in a particular item. Gold jewelry can vary from 24 Karat to 10 Karat Gold. In fact, 24 Karat Gold is considered 100 % pure gold, while 10 Karat is 41.6% pure gold. A piece of jewelry marked 18 Karat means that it is 75% fine gold.

In fact, 24 Karat Gold is 100%; it is essentially not the most attractive mark in jewelry, because pure gold is too elastic. In order to increase the toughness and hardness of such gold, it needs to be combined with other precious metals like nickel, copper, zinc, palladium, and silver.

Moreover, Gold is the most impressionable and long-lasting among all metals. It does not discolor. Pure Gold is almost protected from the effects of oxygen, air, and water. Each country has a diverse series of the system especially in hallmarking gold. In U.S., the transparency of gold is specified by karat.

Pure gold has 24 Karat, but it is rarely used to create jewelry because pure gold will not seize gemstones and twists too easily. Metals such as nickel, zinc, copper, and silver are used with gold just to enhance its potency and permanence. Metal preservatives will also verify the karat and color of the gold.

However, it is not suitable to calculate the transparency of the gold employed in jewelry. Traditional or classic jewelry exclusively based on a gold hallmark. Several pieces of jewelry were never hallmarked, and some of them have been damaged with wear and use. Most of the time, gold marks were wrong.

There are various factors that determine the color of the gold. One is the alloy used to combine with gold, while the other is the amount of the used alloys.

Yellow Gold

It is the natural color of gold. Pure gold combined with copper and silver, which can hold the bright color of the gold.

Bright Yellow Gold

Fine gold combined with copper, nickel and zinc.

White Gold

Fine gold is combined with a big percentage of silver, together with the nickel and zinc to achieve the white color. In order to catch a white color sometimes jewelries have been plated with rhodium. In the year 1920-1930, white gold is considered to be an attractive color over the platinum jewelry. Most of the traditional engagement jewelries of that era were made in 14 Karat, or 18 Karat (white gold).

Pink or Rose Gold

Pure Gold combined with a big percentage of copper together with zinc and silver in order to achieve the rose color. Most of the jewelries that are made up of with a rose gold were made regularly in the “The Contemporary Jewelry Period.” This era gain popularity across the world.

Deep Green

Deep green is formed by means of combination of together with the fine copper, zinc, and silver. Green gold is typically made up of three different colors may also a sign that each jewelry piece may also be a part of “Age of Modern Jewelry”.

Bright Red

This color was formed through a combination of fine gold together with a large portion of copper.

9k gold is 37.5% and stamped hallmark 9K or 375. Hallmark stamped k or kt is same.

Sometimes there is not much room to leave hallmark so k is more often used.

gold jewelry how to understand gold hallmarks

Gold, Beautiful gold we all love the color, the sparkle and design of a nice piece of gold jewelry. The market today has driven up the prices of Gold beyond believe, but there are still places to find a great deal when it comes to Gold. If your reading this article then your on a web-site that offers wholesale prices. The Gold Jewelry you desire is still within your reach, just take time to look at this site and the sister company sites involved.

Today the market is flowing with the precious metal of Gold, no matter what era you look at gold has been worn by all types of people from Kings and Queens to a baker placing gold leafing on a cake to a Mother who stays at home with her loved children, We all love gold. Gold is used for a variety of things for example it is used for Monetary Exchange, Investments, Jewelry, Science, Industry, Medicine to Food and Drink.

Are you buying a necklace? You may not have to worry about caratage(karatage) of the gold when buying a necklace or earrings but when buying a ring that is a totally different story,,, you may plan on wearing that ring every day of your life but consider the use of our hands, we place pressure on our hands constantly which could bend a ring so your choice of a stronger gold with a lower caratage my be best. A bracelet is also something you should look at and decide how much you will wear it, if the item is to be worn periodically pick a gold with a higher caratage such as 22 - 18 kt. If you will be wearing your jewelry daily choose 14-10 kt gold.

So we have looked at caratage purity and now need to be able to recognize the caratage stamp you will see on your jewelry which will be ‘kt’. For example 14kt. We discussed wear and tear on jewelry and the need for a lower gold content on rings or jewelry worn every day.

The colors or shade of Gold. Many people love Gold for its gleaming colors. There are however many lovely colors of gold. When you buy 24kt Gold many people don’t realize the color is very different, the purity of gold does make a difference in color. When most people think of the color of Gold they simply think of the 3 main colors you choose from being

  • Rose gold
  • White gold
  • Yellow gold

Your own personal preference will be a deciding factor with your purchase.

There are many colors of gold in the market today, the main three colors you will see in a retail store setting or when buying from a wholesale vendor is Yellow, Rose and White gold. Gold color depends on other alloy ‘metals’ mixed into the actual gold.

Rose gold or also called pink or red gold appears this color due to the higher content of copper in the gold.

A Russian favourite and in these days of variety Americans tend to love Rose gold also.

White gold appears as a silver color due to other metal alloy being added also, that may be palladium this type of gold is often more hard or a stronger gold and is very good for rings or pins.

white gold yellow gold how to understand gold hallmark

Yellow gold is one of the most attractive to many buyers and bought more than any other color, yellow gold comes in a variety of colors.

When your looking at buying 24 - 22 kt gold the color may appear a orange - yellow color, This is a rich color many have never seen since most jewelry in the retail stores will be offered in 14-10 kt gold.

Gold, Beautiful gold we all love the color, the sparkle and design of a nice piece of gold jewelry. The market today has driven up the prices of Gold beyond believe, but there are still places to find a great deal when it comes to Gold. If your reading this article then your on a web-site that offers wholesale prices. The Gold Jewelry you desire is still within your reach.

Today the market is flowing with the precious metal of Gold, no matter what era you look at gold has been worn by all types of people from Kings and Queens to a baker placing gold leafing on a cake to a Mother who stays at home with her loved children, We all love gold. Gold is used for a variety of things for example it is used for Monetary Exchange, Investments, Jewelry, Science, Industry, Medicine to Food and Drink.

Also check if silver is with a gold plating. This jewelry should be hallmarked so always important to check hallmark stamps as GP & 925 SS.

Also Gold filled, is offered in but will have the letters GF for gold filled. You may also see the stamp RGP 12kt. RGP hallmarked for rolled gold plating over a base do not confuse with gold settings

Ask questions of your vendor if you don not see all information provided before you bid on a item. You should be able to read the description provided by your seller / vendor on one of these site, they will tell you the caratage ‘kt’ content, possibly the weight of the gold, the size if applicable, and any gemstones already set in the Gold.

gold chain how to understand gold hallmarks

The cost of Gold is still rising today, at a all time high, All the vendors on the site your visiting now offer wholesale prices but what you don’t know is many of them have not raised their prices for 1 - 4 or even more years!! So you are very likely to get a piece of gold jewelry at a Old Gold Price and not even know it. The local stores in our towns offer low grade gemstones set in Inflated gold castings! Many with retail price increases of up to 1000% percent more than the wholesale cost. Do the math, investigate, you can afford the Gold jewelry you want when you buy from the right store.

Formula: How To Find Gold Content & Dollar Value Of 9 Karat Gold





$24.15 x .643 equals $15.52 per gram

Production fee for average small gold chain is $2.20 per gram at todays price 20-10-2010 9k chain would cost $17.72 per gram.

This is ex factory cost

Large gold chain production cost $5.00 per gram plus profit margin

Formula: How To Find Gold Content & Dollar Value Of 18 Karat Gold





$48.30 x .643 equals $31.05 per gram

Production fee for average small gold chain is $2.20 per gram at todays price 20-10-2010 18k chain would cost $33.25 per gram.

This is ex factory cost

Large gold chain production cost $5.00 per gram plus profit

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Is My Jewelry Real or Fake?

A Guide To Interpreting Stamps and Markings.

Many of our customers ask us how we can tell if something is gold before we do any chemical tests. Well, a lot of it is just by experience but there are a few things you can look for to help determine whether your item is made from precious metals. One of the first things we look for when sorting jewelry is whether any of the items are magnetic. There are only three ferromagnetic elements which are iron, nickel, and cobalt. If an item is magnetic it is because it consists primarily of one of those three elements which more often than not is iron. So the easiest way to sort through a lot of jewelry is to use a very strong (rare earth)magnet to weed out all the magnetic items. We use magnets out of old hard drives. Even if the item is slightly magnetic it most likely does not contain any precious metals. There are exceptions to this rule; if the item is clearly marked but is still magnetic, have an expert help you determine if it is real.

Once we have removed all the magnetic items from the pile we then look for stamps and markings on the items. Nearly all precious metal jewelry has a mark of some kind. On chains the marking is usually on the clasp or right next to the clasp and on rings the markings are on the inside of the ring. Often times, people find the stamp but don't know what the stamps mean. We will go through each precious metal and list the most common stamps for different grades of gold. I am sure we will miss a few but this should help you get a better understanding of what it all means. Remember, just because it is old does not mean it is a precious metal.


Many stamps are simple to read and understand like: 10K, 14K, 18K and so on but sometimes there are just 3 numbers marked instead of a karat grade. The three numbers you might see are actually just a decimal number representation of the karat grade of the item. Since 24 karat is the most pure (24 parts out of 24 parts are gold) we can then figure out the percentage of gold in the other karat grades. So now we know a 10 karat piece is 10/24ths gold. 10 divided by 24 is 0.417 or 41.7% gold. This percentage is often times marked as three numbers on a 10K gold ring, 417. The same is true for all other karat grades.
Sometimes the karat stamp will be followed by other letters such as P, GP, HGE, RGP, and GF.
These stamps mean:
  • P after the stamp like "14KP" means 14 Karat plumb. The reason this is marked this way is to tell you that there is exactly 58.5% gold in the item. Not all 14 karat pieces are plumb 14 karat. As long as the item is higher than 13 karat or 54.2% gold the jeweler can legally mark the item 14 karat.
  • GP after the stamp stands for gold plated, "18K GP" means the item is electroplated with 18 karat gold.
  • HGE stands for "High Grade Electroplate," "18K HGE" meand the item is electroplated with 18 karat gold.
  • RGP means "Rolled Gold Plate" Often seen as "10K RGP" or "1/30 10K RGP"This term is usually stamped on watches and is basically a very thin layer of gold bonded to a base metal. This type of piece has more gold than an electroplated piece has but it is still not solid gold.
  • GF stands for gold filled. It can be marked as "10K GF" "1/20 10K GF" Sometimes the piece is not marked with GF after the stamp but only "1/10 14K" this also means gold filled. Gold filled items are similar to RGP items in that the gold is in a thin layer bonded to the surface of a base metal. The fraction before the karat grade refers to how much gold is actually in the item. "1/20 10K GF" means 1/20th or 5% of the weight is 10 karat gold. If you see a marking of 12K on an item it is almost always gold fill.
Keep in mind that just because an item is marked does not necessarily mean the item is gold. There are criminals in this world that falsely mark gold plated and gold filled jewelry as solid gold items in order to make money. This is most common in tourist towns where people buy jewelry from street vendors.  


  Many people think the term "Sterling Silver" means pure silver. This assumption is incorrect. Sterling silver refers to the purity of the silver. Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. The alloying of a small amount of copper with the silver makes the sterling silver tarnish a little more slowly and makes the metal harder and more durable than pure silver. For the most part, silver stamps are very simple and straight forward. Much like with gold, silver will be marked with a three number stamp. 
  • 925 or sterling or ster. will be marked for sterling silver items. As stated above the 925 stands for 92.5% silver
  • 900 is less common but means 90% silver. Alloys of 90% silver are usually referred to as coin silver like the U.S. dimes, quarters, and half-dollars from 1964 and earlier. Flatware is almost always marked "Sterling" and not 925. 
  • 800 is also uncommon and is a fairly low grade alloy of silver. It usually will not be as white in color as sterling or pure silver.
  • British markings for silver are called hallmarks. They are very tiny pictures stamped on silver items like cups, bowls, plates, etc. The British mark for silver is a left-facing lion with one paw raised. 
  • Nickel Silver, German Silver, Brazil Silver, Montana Silver, and other _______ Silver markings refer to an alloy of nickel and copper to create a silvery colored metal. These items are very common and you must be careful when purchasing these because the word silver in the marking is only referring to color and not the element silver. 
Flatware is almost always marked Sterling if it is a solid silver piece. 99% of the time if there is not a stamp that says "Sterling" somewhere on the piece the item is just silver plated. Many people see stamps on flatware like "Rogers 1847" and think that the spoon or fork marked with this was made in 1847 so it MUST
be silver. The 1847 mark actually refers to the year that the Rogers Bros. company was established and has nothing to do with the year it was made. On a lot of flatware, platters, bowls, cups, plates, etc. you will see a mark that says "E.P.N.S" this stands for electroplated nickel silver. There are many silver plated markings but here are a few:
  • EPNS or EP
  • A1 means high grade silver plate or that the item was plated one time
  • AAA means high grade silver plate
  • XXX means the item was plated 3 times
  • A4 means the item was plated four times. We have seen a mark as high as A12 meaning it was plated 12 times.
  • Plate means it is plated.
Sterling Silver Spoon


  Platinum is a very rare metal and is very expensive to make into jewelry because of it's high melting point. There are typically only two different grades of platinum that are made into jewelry but there are still quite a few stamps for them. Keep in mind, when cobalt is used in the alloy, it will likely be magnetic. 
  • Pt 900 or Plat 900 or Plat or 90/10 Pt/Ir or 900 Pt 100 Ir or Platinum, these markings refer to the most common alloy of platinum which is 90% pure. The other 10% is most commonly iridium which is added to increase the hardness and thus durability of the platinum. Sometimes the alloying metal is ruthenium or even cobalt because they provide an even more durable alloy.
  • Pt 950 or Plat 950 or 95/05 Pt or 950 Pt 05 Ir, these markings refer to a slightly more pure alloy. The other metal in this alloy is most commonly iridium but also ruthenium and cobalt as well. 
  We hope this has helped you decipher some of the stamps you have been wondering about. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to let us know!

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Meaning gold ehc

How to Tell If Your Jewelry Is Gold Filled or Solid Gold

What Is Gold-Filled Jewelry?

Gold-filled jewelry is made by wrapping a very thin sheet of gold around a base made of another material such as nickel or brass. Heat is used to attach the gold coating on top of the non-gold core.

Gold bracelet

Gold bracelet

Gold-filled items are similar to gold-plated pieces in that they are not solid gold; gold-plated jewelry, however, has a much thinner gold coating.

Solid gold jewelry, in contrast, is made entirely of one material – usually, an alloy that contains gold mixed with other metals to make the compound harder and more durable.

Gold Filled or Solid Gold: Look at the Gold Markings

Solid gold pieces are usually stamped with their karat number only. For example, an 18-karat item should have a stamp such as “18K”, “18kt”, or “18KP”.

Click here to see a selection of the newest and most popular gold jewelry.

In Europe, you may see karats expressed as a decimal, percentage, or parts per thousand: Thus, an 18K piece may be stamped with a marking such as “0.75” or “750” since 18 karats imply 75% gold content (18 divided by 24, which is the maximum number of karats possible).

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Gold-filled jewelry should also have markings indicating its karat number. However, such pieces usually have additional letters and numbers stamped that indicate that they are not solid gold.

The most common identifier of gold-filled items is the sign “GF” after the karat number.

As an example, “1/10 22K GF” is a marking which tells you that the item is gold filled and its gold layer is made of 22-karat gold; the fraction “1/10” before the karat number means that one tenth of the item’s weight is gold.

Sometimes, instead of the stamp “GF” you may see the letters “RGP”, standing for “rolled gold plate.” This type of jewelry is made in the same way as gold-filled pieces, but its gold layer is much thinner.

Note: Although a simple karat number stamp such as “14K”, without any additional letters, should mean that the piece is solid gold, there may be some vendors that could sell gold-filled jewelry that is not identified as such by the letters “GF”.

Related:Check out this selection of gold-plated jewelry.

What If There Are No Markings?

Sometimes, a gold piece may not have any markings. It is not a good idea to purchase such jewelry in the first place.

Nevertheless, its gold content can be found out by doing an acid test, which involves scratching the surface of the item to get a gold filing and putting the sample in acid to determine its karat.

The problem with acid testing is that in order to find out if an item is gold filled, you will need to scratch it relatively deep in order to see whether there is another material below the top gold layer.

If you don’t want to leave visible scratches on the jewelry, then this method is not recommended.

Sometimes, gold-filled pieces are sold with a warranty that states how long the top gold layer will last before wearing out.

If there is any indication that he vendor guarantees that the piece’s gold surface will be good for a limited number of years, it is likely that the piece is not solid gold (although this is also not a perfect sign).

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Gold Filled or Gold Plated How To Tell The Difference


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