Gold jewelry is one of the most desired and fashionable accessories for any outfit. This precious commodity is often plated or filled with other metals to create affordable and accessible options for anyone looking to add a touch of gold to their wardrobe. However, many buyers may not realize the difference between genuine gold and those that are plated or filled.
Understanding the markings and symbols that appear on gold jewelry is essential to know whether you’re buying genuine gold or not. These markings can help you determine the karat weight and quality of the gold.
Gold filled jewelry is made by pressing a sheet of gold around a base metal, such as brass or copper. The gold is bonded, usually through heat and pressure, to the metal core. The thickness of the gold layer can vary, but it must be at least 5% of the total weight of the item. Common markings for gold filled jewelry include “GF” or “G.F.” stamped on the piece.
Gold plated jewelry, on the other hand, has a much thinner layer of gold and is produced by applying a thin layer of gold to another metal surface, usually through electroplating. Gold plated jewelry has a layer thickness of less than 0.5 microns. The markings for gold plated jewelry can vary, but the most common are “GE”, “G.E.”, “HGE” or “H.G.E.” stamped on the piece.
Another popular gold filled mark is 1/20-12k. It means that 1/20th of the total weight of the item is made up of 12k gold. So, if the item weighs 20 grams, 1 gram of that weight is made up of 12k gold.
It’s essential to note that gold plated and gold filled jewelry are not genuine gold and can tarnish or fade over time. Care and maintenance of these pieces should be taken into consideration before purchasing.
Some other markings that you might see on gold jewelry include “10K,” “14K,” “18K,” or “24K.” or the purity equalivant 417, 585, 750, 999. These letters and numbers indicate the purity or the amount of gold in the piece.
Be careful when buying gold from an unknown source as there is a lot of fake jewelry out there with real gold purity marks “10K,” “14K,” “18K,” or “24K”. To determine if the jewelry is real gold or plated requires testing with either acid or electronic testing means. If you are unsure about your gold jewelry, feel free to bring your pieces by and we can verify the purity. With over 40 years experience, New England Diamond & Jewelry Buyers can help you.
In summary, if you’re looking for genuine gold jewelry, make sure to look for markings that specify the purity of the gold. If you’re buying a gold-plated or gold-filled piece, be sure to check the markings as well to avoid disappointment or confusion. Understanding gold jewelry markings can save you a lot of time, money, and frustration in the long run.