Common Jewelry Markings and What They Mean

Happy Friday. If you're about to head out to some tag sales this weekend, it might be a good time for a primer on jewelry markings and what they mean. You could be missing out on treasure! Literal treasure! Gold! ;)

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24K - Pure gold, or very very minor trace amounts of other metals to hold it together. Not seen on so many pieces of jewelry because it is incredibly soft.

18K - Gold that is 18/24, or 75%, pure. Seen on yellow, white, and rose gold.

14K - Gold that is 14/24, or about 58%, pure. Seen on yellow, white, and rose gold. Very common carat, very durable.

10K - Gold that is 10/24, or about 42%, pure. Common on children's jewelry; has a copper tinge.

750 - Gold that is 75% pure. Interchangeable with 18K.

585 - Gold that is 58.5% pure. Interchangeable with 14K.

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925 - Silver that is 92.5% pure. Interchangeable with Sterling. Sometimes you will see this on gold tone pieces; it means they are gold-plated over sterling.

800 - Silver that is 80% pure. Common on German & Eastern European pieces.

Sterling - Silver that is 92.5% pure.

HGE - Gold Electroplated over cheaper base metals.

HGF - Gold Filled. Interchangeable with HGE for most purposes. Also sometimes called vermeil.

If you have a question about a marking on a piece of jewelry, feel free to leave a comment below and I'd be happy to help!

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