Here’s Some Tips to Find Out!
Gold in the United States is measured in Karat (K) weight. Gold typically has a karat weight of 24K, 18K, 14K and 10K. Your jewelry can be stamped with these simple karat stamps. However, it can also have Hallmarks (or markings), derived from the 1000 part European scale.
24K gold is gold in its most pure form. Meaning it is 24 parts gold out of 24 parts. It is not common to see 24K used in most jewelry as it is a very soft material and easy to damage. It does, however, tend to be used in Chinese wedding jewelry, such a bangle bracelets. The hallmark for 24K gold is 999. If your jewelry is stamped or marked with 999 then your piece is made of 24K gold.
18K gold is gold that is 18 parts gold out of 24 parts of metal. The remaining parts are made of alloy. Like 24K gold, 18K is considered to be a softer form of gold that is easy to scratch. It is common to see some necklaces and chains made of 18k gold. The hallmark of 18k gold is 750. If your piece is stamped or marked with 750 then it is made of 18K gold.
14K is gold that is 14 parts out of 24 parts gold. It is the most common form of gold used in jewelry today in the United States. It is far more durable and affordable than both 24K and 18K. The hallmark of 14K gold is 583/585. If your piece is marked 583 or 585 it is made of 14K gold.
10 karat gold is made of 10 parts gold of 24 parts. It’s the most impure gold can be while remaining legally “gold” in the US. While a very durable form of gold, it is not commonly used in high end jewelry. The hallmark of 10K gold is 416/417. If your piece is marked 416 or 417 then it is made of 10K gold.
You may be wondering where the hallmarks can be found on your jewelry. It will usually be stamped on the largest space on the item. Remember you may need a jewelers loupe or a magnifying glass to find the hallmark and see it clearly.
If you need any assistance or have more questions about all things jewelry we are happy to help here at Todd & Company! Visit www.toddandcompany.com