Welcome to Aaron’s fun-filled encyclopedia of gold stamps! Fun for the whole family –
Seriously though, if you’ve ever wanted to know what the stamps on all your gold or silver means then you’ve come to the right place because I have compiled a serious list. It took my outsourced cheap, third-world labour days to compile this list so enjoy! – Before you send hate mail I am just kidding I did it myself 🙂 Relax….
Most gold is stamped with numbers tell how pure the gold is. They are in the thousandth, so if you want to know the purity percentage, just move the decimal point in one space. For example: 750 is 75.0% pure gold (or 18 karat)
Here’s an easy chart:
|999.9, 999||24 carat; also called “three nines fine”|
|990||23 carat;also called “two nines fine”|
|916, 917||22 carat|
|585, 583, 575||14 carat|
|417||10 carat; minimum standard for U.S. gold|
|333||8 carat; minimum standard for gold in Germany after 1884|
Beyond just telling you the karat purity of the piece, the jewelry stamp will often have another standard marking to give you more information.
|GF||Gold Filled: Contains very little gold content|
|GP||Gold Plated: Thin layer of gold over base metal. We do not buy gold plate|
|P||Plumb Gold (guaranteed to be at least the amount of karats on the stamp|
|KP||Karat Plumb: Same as above|
|Pd||Palladium: platinum group metal|
|S. Silver||Sterling Silver|
|Sterling Silver||Sterling Silver|
|St Steel||Stainless Steel|
|cw||Carat Weight (usually refers to the karats of the diamond or gems in the piece)|
|CZ||Cubic Zirconia (the gems are cubic zirconia and not diamonds)|
|6,7,8…||Some relatively low number. This usually indicates the ring size.|
A lot of jewelry will have several stamps or marks. Often there is one stamp to indicate the purity of the gold (“14K”, as mentioned above). The purity mark can be accompanied by a second mark called a maker’s mark or a jeweller’s stamp. These are custom stamps or engravings placed in jewelry by whomever manufactured it. Sometimes they are letters or initials, and sometimes they are ornate icons (like a heart or a bell, for example). There is a huge number of unique jeweller’s marks. Matching these stamps back to the original manufacturer can be extremely difficult. Your best tool to do this is Google. There are a number of decent websites that have listings of some of the hallmarks. But be prepared, it will probably take some digging!
Some additional marks I’ve discovered
vermeil or vermil
The quality marks for vermeil are used on articles made of silver of at least 92.5 percent purity and plated with gold of at least 10 karats. No minimum thickness is required for the gold plated portion.
Platinum and Palladium Quality Marks
platinum, plat., platine, palladium, pall.
The quality marks for platinum are applied to articles composed of at least 95 percent platinum, 95 percent platinum and iridium, or 95 percent platinum and ruthenium.
The quality marks for palladium are applied to articles composed of at least 95 percent palladium, or 90 percent palladium and 5 percent platinum, iridium, ruthenium, rhodium, osmium or gold.
Gold and Silver Plate
gold electroplate, gold plated, G.E.P., electroplaqué d’or or or plaqué, silver electroplate, silver plate, silver plated, electroplaqué d’argent, plaqué d’argent, or the abbreviations of these terms
Gold Filled and Rolled Gold Plate
gold filled, G.F., doublé d’or, rolled gold plate, R.G.P., plaqué d’or laminé
Hope that helps – Aaron