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

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).

gold1

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)

 

14K

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

750

 

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 ring1 U.S marine corp ring2

418 comments on “The difference between Gold, Gold Plated and Gold Filled Jewelry

  1. I bought a yellow gold padlock bracelet stamped 750GF. What does this mean? And how long will it last looking like new. Can I get it wet without discolouration?

  2. I found your blog is so useful. I am not the jewelry maker at the very beginning but the last job is bring me to the jewelry world and trying to find way to learn more about it. It’s so nice to read the Q&A section : )

  3. Hi,
    I have a ruby encrusted crab pin pendant that is stamped China then. 925 R. It is gold in color covered in rubies with diamonds accent claws. I want to know what the r stands for or how can I tell what type of gold playing it has on it. It’s gorgeous.
    Thank you
    Cheryl

    • Para ser Diputado Privcnoial, primero hay que ayudar a alguien nesecitado a por lo menos uno! luego hay que caminar mas la calle y si es la de tierra mejor, por que algunos se ponen de candidato pero tienen menos calles que el Barrio Paykin! NO VOTES UN PERSONAJE, QUE ANTES DE ELECCIONES YA SE PELEA CON MUCHOS Y ASI NO VA A LLEGAR Y MENOS CUANDO NO TIENE GENTE DETRAS SUYO, a no ser para que lo conozcan un poquito mas busca polemizar en los medios y asi tiene mejor suerte pensará él.

  4. Hi there,I just wanna ask about the necklace I found last night,it s 750 plated,what does 750 plated means?,,,thank you

  5. Hi: I’m on your website because I trying to find an answer to my question- As a rule will a jeweler size down either a gold plated or a gold filled ring? Thanks
    Regards
    Frankie

  6. Hey quick question i found a necklace that only has GHR stamped looks more like white gold then silver any feedback would be great

  7. Can you please confirm what AM.DOUBLE (assume American Double)means stamped on a Vintage German gold coloured BROOCH.Does it mean generally the same as Gold filled or rolled Gold.
    thanks

  8. I have come across these candlesticks with five hallmark, maker marks. I know that they use to mark gold and silver with them. I cant find the marks. For all purpose they looked brass to me, but reading up on hallmarks i can only find i cant find anything if they marked brass the same. Can you help? Not sure how to send picture to you to see.

  9. I have a woman’s ring that looks gold and has 21 diamonds in it but the only marking inside the band is PAD can you tell me what PAD means?

    • I’d like to know also. Have a ring that appears to hold a center gemstone and accents of possibly diamonds marked ‘PAD 18KT GE’. I understand the latter part but can’t find anything relating to PAD. Anybody know this mark?

  10. Hi there,Awesome site btw very informative-Anyway does anyone no whether K.G.P then a small space then 18k would mean G.P is the makers name or that they have put

    • Awesome site-Would r.g.p before 18k mean it’s the makers name/mark or rolled gold plate written a different way-I found a silver and goldsmith that had the same initials but since it doesn’t have the same assay marks etc I assume this is plate-Any ideas? Thanx btw

      • Hi! i was at the Chsmatirs Parade in Dayton today with my husband and daughter (who was dressed in a Santa Dress). I just wanted to let you know that I took several pictures and if you would like me to e-mail them to you or anything, just let me know and I’d be happy to send them to you =]

  11. Hi I have a photo frame type locket marked 9ct Lustre and wondered what this means? Is it a hallmark or a comment on gold content?
    thanks Sharon

  12. I bought a 51 Single cut round diamonds Color: I & Clarity: SI2 No treatment.
    11.35 grams of silver/brass layered with 18K yellow Gold. Is the fake even though it has diamonds.

    • Thank you a bunch for shar­ing this with all peo­ple you actu­ally rec­og­nize what you’re speak­ing about! Book­marked. Kindly adía‚­tiond‚ÂiÃlly con­sult with my web­site =). We can have a hyper­link trade arrange­ment among us!

  13. I was recently given a coppery coloured bangle which opens with a clasp and chain. I think it may have been gold plated originally – if so the gold has worn away. It has a mark which says T+14 and I wondered what that means.

    Many thanks for any help.

    A. Francis

  14. I have a pair of, for now so it sounds good lol, silver studed, or white gold, with what I believe to be a round cut diamond about 1/2 to 1 caret or so, with what I think has a tiny inclusion on both. Now my head scratcher is, there is a stamp on outside of silver that is “MC”. Ouf of all the jewelry that has passed my way, I’ve never seen this one. And I’ve seen a lot of off the wall marks and could find, usually for myself, something to answer my question enough to satisfy me. Could anyone plz shine a lil bit of light on this marking for me plz. Thank you in advance.

  15. Hi . I found a gold single earing while I’m inspecting the bag that my cousin gave to me. I almost filled it with water to find out if it is true nor fake. Then many times i do this on water, but the result is the earing did not change the color it is still gold. Is it a true gold?

    • I do not in anyway work, know, or am affiliated with the ppl that posted this blog. I say that for the sake of this awesome company, just in case I’m ever wrong. That being said, putting gold in water or gold colored metal to see if their is a color change will not tell you if their is any realness to it. The best way to know for sure is take it to a trusted jeweler and they will test the piece. Or buy a kit for at home use to test your own gold. Also looking one the jewelry piece most the time there is a makers mark, hallmark, stamp or markings of some sort showing the karet and company. Of there is not one it does not necessarily mean its fake could b really old and worn off or hidden. Hope you find out an answer your looking for. Best of luck my friend.

      Alex.

  16. Love your blog…very informative and friendly! About a year ago, someone posted this question: “Hi I was given a ring by my mother in law but the engraved bit says 21″A18k. Can you tell me what type of gold it is or is it just gold metal?” Your reply was: “…I think what you are seeing is an Italian makers mark (e.g. 233 * VI) followed by the purity mark 18K (750/1000 parts gold)…”

    I just bought an estate sale piece (pin) that is marked “A 21 18”. I do not believe it is a solid gold piece because the gentleman I bought it from is a reputable local dealer who wouldn’t be likely to overlook that sort of thing. Have you been able to find out any more about this type of hallmark based on the question that was posted last year? Thank you!

  17. Hi I love your blog and I have a question. I am really interested in buying a pendants online and it saids it’s gold finish and the other one is gold fill. I worried that it will tarnish, chip an turn my skin green. Is a possibility and is there anything else I should worry about? Or do I have the green light to buy

    Thank u

  18. I would like to know if a bracelet marked with the 14K stamp and below it an OG stamp always means it is gold plated. There is no indication of how much 14K gold is there like your post suggested it should have. I can not test the bracelet, I am only thinking of buying it and the seller just keeps saying its 14K gold.

    • Hi and thanks for reading our blog! I believe the OG is makers mark, rather a purity mark. So the bracelet is 14K gold and it was made by “OG”. If you do a trademark search on the USPTO website you can find out who the maker is.

  19. I have two questions. One ring I have says K14. Does that still mean 14K. I have never seen the K before the number before. And I have a gold finger nail that says 14KPFF. There’s no space in between them. Does the FF still stand for the makers mark?

    • Hi Kathy and thanks for reading our blog! Yes, you will sometimes see the K before the number – especially on pieces manufactured outside the U.S. The other ring is likely 14K Plumb gold and the FF is the maker. It could also be 14K gold and PFF is the maker. You can check both of those marks on the USPTO website. Thanks again!

  20. Hi I have a gold wedding band that was bought in 1970. The stamp on it says 9ct but when I took it to a broker they tested it in a solution and it turned green and bubbled then left a brown tarnish. Please can someone tell me if it’s real or fake

    • Hi Sharon and thanks for reading our blog! It is probably OK. 9ct gold is only about 1/3 gold and the remainder of the metal is usually a mix of base metals and some silver. When exposed to strong acid (Nitric at 70% or more) the 9ct gold will react like base metal.

  21. Do you know if American consumers prefer 14K gold plated jewelry or 18K gold plated jewelry? If not, do you have a preference? My understanding is that it is a matter of color difference and not representative of the amount or quality of gold used in the plating… but I am interested in knowing what color you think consumers prefer or that you prefer?

    Thank you!
    Jodi

    • Hi Jody — I think its really just a tone preference as you said. I personally prefer 18K plating because it’s a richer tone and tends to look more like the real thing. However, I believe there is more 14K plated jewelry on the market.

  22. I recently purchased a gold Italian horn charm at a thrift store.It is quite heavy.I did the magnet test and only on end was slightly attracted to it and the other end did not budge.There are no markings and it looks real.Is the magnet test always correct?Could this be real?Thank you for your time.

    • Hi and thanks for reading our blog! If you are using a strong rare earth magnet, it will sometimes pick up faint traces of other metal that is used for springs, structuring loops or for stability. It is possible that the piece is gold despite the magnet issue.

    • Today, most Chinese gold is marked with either western or Chinese marks. If it’s a vintage piece, it may not be marked. Most chinese consumers strongly prefer high karat gold – but even in China 24K would be unusual for something like a wedding band due to softness.

  23. Hi there. your blog has been very informative I keep it under my favorites tab to keep for reference purposes when i purchase items.

    I had a question. I recently bought a pair of genuine mystic topaz earrings. it says that they are .925 sterling silver with 18kt gold overlay. does this mean they are gold plated and that the value is diminished. they say it’s worth 200 msrp.

    • Hi and thanks you! No – the value is not diminished. The 18K overlay will give them a brighter finish and help them resist tarnish. The retail price on earrings like this really depends on where you buy them. In a high end department store, $200 might be reasonable. You should be able to get them on amazon for under $30.00.

  24. Have a band I found with metal detector. It’s inscribed. Has the words “gold double” and I am curious to what that means. I can’t fing anything anywhere on web concerning gold double.

  25. I have an antique silver platter marked on the back with a standing lion, the word sterling, and the number 417. I realize sterling means sterling silver, but what about the standing lion, and the number 417?

    • Hi and thanks for reading our blog! The 417 is probably a model mark. The standing lion is either a hallmark or a makers mark or pseudo hall mark. Please send me a photo. Thanks!

  26. Hello!!! My husband bought me a gold chain 14k .But the mark on it says: made in Italy and on the other side says “RON” .he paid 280 €.I don’t know if it’s real.I checked every side on Google but nothing. :(

    • This will be 14 Karat gold, the chain is made in Italy and the initials of the maker.
      When bought in Europe at a jewelry store, they have very strong laws about gold!

  27. With all the info. out there about the different types of “gold plating”, which would be the best and sturdiest kind to purchase. Also, do any of these processes look more like real gold than the bright shiny gold that is on a lot of jewelry?
    Thanks so much.

  28. Hi there. This has been such a great read and I have learnt a lot! Thank you! Unfortunately I have not come across an answer that can help me for a particular pair of earrings I own. They are, I believe, gold dangling earrings with a lira coin surrounded by a kind of flower shape. The marking on the top of the earrings is what looks like a small 4 above a small 1 and then a larger 4 next to that. I can not figure it out. If you have come across something similar I would love to hear.
    Kind regards
    Esther

  29. Hi I’ve enjoyed reading your informative correspondence regarding Gold Filled jewellery. May I just clarify – am I correct in saying Gold Filled items will wear better than Gold Plated? I understand it depends on how the item is treated as to how long the surface remains ‘as new’. The Yellow Gold Plated jewellery I have seen tends to have a slightly deeper colour to it than solid gold which I find off putting. The piece I am considering buying is a ring made out of White Gold 18k Filled with cz pave setting, In your experience have you found White Gold filled items to have a ‘realistic’ appearance? The white gold has a brass base.

    There is another ring I have seen with the same cz pave setting however it is made out of Sterling Silver with a Rodium Plated finish. I have been able to try this ring on and it has a great blingy look to it and a high gloss finish. I wonder how the White Golf filled finish would compare with the Silver – FYI the Silver one is about six times more expensive that the filled one…….any thoughts?

    Cheers
    Alex

  30. Hello there Hunterridge and good day. I hope you have time to answer this and have not answered it before. If so, please forgive me for the repetition…I read all over the Internet that the “US standard law” requires every piece of gold filled jewelry be at least (5% – 0.05 – 1/20) gold of the total weight of the piece (excluding stones of course). I’ve done the math (for melt value) on gold filled jewelry for about 100 different pieces on eBay and from calculations, the deals are to good to be true. My concern is, does “every” country have to follow the (5% – 1/20) law or is it just some of the countries or just the US? I read the title and go down the page and look at the description and “make damn sure” it says GOLD FILLED, not gold plated, not solid gold, not electro…whatever lol but Gold Filled and they do. It’s just so hard to believe that I’m actually getting all these good deals. What are your thoughts and opinions about all this? Thank you very much for your time and this awesome post!

  31. I have a got a gold necklace and it says Fade on the diamond pendant what does that mean?? If anyone could help then it will be very helpful and grateful

  32. I have a ring that is marked 18K on one side of the inside band and P3 on the opposite side of the inside band. It is a yellow gold shield type ring with multicolored “stones”. Does this stand for plated? I have done some research but can only find a vague answer to the question (s) that only addresses the P. If it is Plated. why P3?…or is it an illusive hallmark?
    Thanks so much for your informative blog! I reference it frequently.

  33. Hi, I wanted to how to tell the difference between gold plated and just gold colored jewelry. I am selling on Amazon and they are extremely particular about describing jewelry correctly.

    I have several items that the manufacturer claims is gold plated but how can tell for sure?

  34. Hello,
    We are Soni international from india, Looking to buy 9 K Yellow Gold Products.
    Requriement as below :-

    Requirement of 9 K Yellow gold Stuff :-

    1. Lever back – 14×9 mm – weight – 0.28 GM/piece ( Picture attached)
    2. Butterfuly (push) – 5 MM ROUND DAIMETER – Weight – 0.13 GM/piece. (Kindly share the product image)
    3. Chain – 2.8x4x0.5 MM ( Picture attached)
    4. Lobster lock – 10×4 MM – weight – 0.40 gm/piece ( Picture attached)

    Kindly check the product availability & let us know at the urgent basis.

    Thanks
    Ved

  35. I have a man’s diamond ring hallmarked 14kf. It is definitely marked “f” not “p”. Could you please tell me what it means? I read someone else asked the same question and you said you would research it in your reply to them. Thank you. I would be happy to send pictures of the ring.

  36. I have bought a ring on ebay which was sold as 10K ring with a heavy weight of 8 gram. The ring does not look to be real gold to me. The stamp on it looks very blurry (not worn, but unclear) and states 18K Gt. (I’m sertain it is a “t”, not “f”) with an” A” in a circle. What could that mean?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Oksana and thanks for reading our blog. Unfortunately, 18K GT is often used to denote “Gold Tone”, which is gold colored but not gold. That said, I would have the piece tested, because it may be a manufacturers mark.

  37. Dear could you help me out that if i purchase ring of 925 Silver with 18K White Gold Plating whether it will be black after use of some period or not?

    • Hi Amin and thanks for your question! Generally, gold plated rings do wear down and the underlying silver is exposed. If you continue to polish the piece, it won’t turn black but the silver will be more dull than the white gold plating.

  38. have a silver ring with a purple stone in it. Marked 925 I10K AJ then it has a copyright C within a circle.
    Would that be 10 K and 925 plated???
    Does not really make sense to me but what do you think.
    Thank you and I just found your website and blog and I must say thank you for sharing all the information and knowledge.

    • Hi and thanks for reading our blog! This piece is by a well known manufacturer. It consists of a solid sterling silver pendant with a solid 10K gold element. Anytime you see both a silver fineness marking and gold fineness marking the piece should include a solid silver portion and a solid gold portion. I am relatively familiar with this manufacturer’s pieces. There should be a yellow swirl on the front of the ring — that is the solid 10K gold portion. Thanks again!

  39. If I understand the following: “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).” especially: “thus a 1/20 12K Gold Filled item is 1/20 12K gold and 1/40 pure gold)”.

    That would mean if I have a item that is marked “1/20 12 Gold Filled”, it is .6K (that is “point” 6 K, not 6K). If i wanted to scrap this material and wanted “1 ounce of actual Gold to scrap” I would need 40 ounces (or about 2.75 lbs) of “1/20 12 Gold Filled”.

    Am I missing something or does this sound correct? (Love your site, links and blog BTW)

    Thanks a Bunch,
    Bob

    • Hi Bob — Correct! 12K / 20 = 0.6K. 40oz of 1/20 12K would yield 2 oz of solid 12K gold [40 x 0.05 = 2] which = 1 Oz of pure 24K gold [2(12K) = 24K).

  40. hie I recently received a 9k yellow gold half eternity ring but I touched some chemical by mistake with it and it tarnished colour into a brownish colour I went with it to a jewelry store and they polished it with a cloth then I wore the ring again,after a few hours I.noticed the tarnishes again,I’m wondering what can this be since it’s real gold and I have a gia certificate with it.

    • Hi Lorraine and thanks for reading our blog. This sounds a lot like what are often called “metal diseases”. The non-gold elements that make up the 9K alloy have been penetrated by the chemical are continuing to oxidize from the inside out – hence the brown mark. I think there are a few things your could have your jeweler try. First, I would heat the ring gradually with a torch (be Very careful not to hit the AU melt point). Heat treatments rearrange the structure of the metal and may exude whatever is continuing to cause the oxidation. The ring will then need to be brushed and polished. Also — make sure that the ring is not somehow getting recontaminated in your environment — is the chemical source still present around you?

  41. Hi!

    I also have a ring given to me by my grandmother that looks to be from the 40s. It has a large aquamarine and is stamped BT 10K. Do you know what the BT means? I originally thought it might mean blue topaz (for the center stone) but I had it tested and it is indeed an aqua.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Emily and thanks for reading our blog! The “BT” portion of the marking is the manufacturer’s mark. In the U.S. and a number of other jurisdictions, manufacturers of gold jewelry who elect to mark items with a fineness mark (e.g. 10K), must also mark the piece with a manufacturer’s mark that shows who made it — in the case of your ring, BT.

  42. Hello! I have a ring that was given to me by my uncle in 1989. It was intended for his wife but they split up. My grandparents were jewelers at the time and my uncle told me that my grandmother made the ring. I’ve kept it put away all these years but recently I’ve been doing a bit of research and I think this ring is older than that. It is a white gold five stone fishtail wedding band with a sort of knife edge. The stones appear to be diamonds but I don’t know for certain. It is marked 14KP and is about 3gm and very well made. Do you think this ring could have been made in the late 1980’s, or would it seem more likely to be from an earlier period and my grandmother just polished it up for my uncle to give his wife?

    • Hi Tina and thanks for contacting us! The five stone fishtail ring is a timeless design so it’s difficult to pinpoint a date based on style. however, the 14KP mark does suggest it was made in the 1970’s or 1980’s. As you may know, 14KP is a 14K Plumb mark that was not really used before that era. That said, it is possible that the ring is much older and was remarked in the 70’s-80’s. Thanks for sharing this item with us. Zowie

  43. Hello,

    I have a jewelry company, and until now my jewelry is plated.
    The silver is made in Thailand, and shipped to Europe where it
    Is plated. But I am looking for a company that can do gold filling instead of plating. Any idea where I can find a business that does that? Thanks!

  44. Hi. I brought a ring in a jewelry shop. There’s a stamped 750 GFAB. What does GFaB stands for?? Is it a pure gold or not? Im planning to return it if it is gold filled only..tnx

    • Hi Cha and thanks for contacting us. The 750 mark is a convention mark / European mark that is not followed by G, K, KT, or GF. Therefore I would assume the piece is solid 18K Gold and manufacturer is GFAB. Thanks again.

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