WHAT IS A HALLMARK / QUALITY MARKS?
Hallmarks state information about the metal in question usually stamped on to the bottom/inside of the piece. There is always a confusion about the meaning of such marks on jewelry and other items made of precious metals. I’ve written this article in hopes of educating our newer friends.
Written as: Karat / Kt. / K
Karat is the standard measurement for Gold expressed in either fractions or decimal places. Starting with the purest 24 Karats that’s 24/24 Gold, and the least allowable quality is 9 Karats. As for the measurement, an example would be 10/24 Gold, or 0.416 fine gold, or 10 Karats.
Be sure not to confuse Gold Karats with Diamond carats, for Gold, it’s about purity. Whereas Diamonds measure weight.
GOLD FILLED AND ROLLED GOLD PLATE
Gold Filled / G.F. Rolled Gold Plate / R.G.P.
Gold filled (GF.) products consist of a base metal that has a sheet of 10K and above Gold bonded to it. In addition, the gold sheet has to be a minimum of 1/20th the weight of the product. For example, the mark would be ‘1/20 10K G.F.’ Gold filled is similar to the Rolled gold plate but with 1 slight difference.
Rolled gold plate (RGP) and Gold filled may utilize the same process creation, but with one slight difference. The sheets of gold are less than 1/20th of the total weight of the product. An example of the mark would be, ‘1/40 10K R.G.P.’
GOLD AND SILVER PLATE Gold Plated / G.E.P., Silver Plated
For Gold Plated items, they are electroplated with the gold of a minimum 10K purity, whereas Silver it would be 92.5% purity. There is no minimum weight or thickness required.
Silver, Sterling Silver, .925 Silver
Much like gold, the hallmark is used on items that are of that purity, Sterling Silver and .925 Silver are of at least 92.5% pure silver. Whereas some metals may be called ‘Silver’ actually aren’t. An example would be Nickel / Tibetan silver, which contains no silver at all
PLATINUM AND PALLADIUM HALLMARKS
Hallmarks for Platinum and Palladium are simple, there’d be 4 grades. 85%, 90%, 95%, 99.9%. This is the purity grading of platinum that is accepted. And will be marked on the item itself, for example, 95% would be 950. As for Palladium, it’s the exact same. Just that the grades go as such. 500, 950, 999.
Hopefully, this article has educated you on Hallmarks found on hallmarks for your next purchase of any precious metal item.