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Monday, April 8, 2013

The Fashionista Precious Metals Check List

I really hope this post helps someone the way it did me.  Sometime precious metals like gold, silver and platinum, depending on the country that manufactured the piece has markings that may be foreign to you or unfamiliar at the very least.  We all recognize 14kt, 10kt and 18kt but do you know that in other countries the markings can be entirely different?  For instance, 14kt in the United kingdom is often marked 585.  In cases like this, due to lack of knowledge,  lots of people have given away or mistook precious metals for costume jewelry.  Sadly, this happens more often than you think.


When I started selling on Ebay, I had a similar experience that taught me an invaluable lesson.  One of the pieces I sold was a platinum bracelet with the markings 950.  I had no idea it was platinum and sold it as costume jewelry for little or nothing.  Needless to say, I lost that piece and the customer who bought it probably fist pumped when he or she received it.  That is...if they knew what it was. The bracelet was worth at least $550.00  (I am too ashamed to tell you what I sold it for.)  It still hurts today to recall the incident.  And so, please take a minute to look at this chart, it may save you from the same horror......or, you may find that you have precious metals in your collection that you didn't even know you had!


Metal Stamps
Metal stampMinimum percentage of pure metalCommon alloys**
.925 Sterling SilverAlso: 925 Sterling, Sterling Silver*92.5% pure fine silverUsually copper
10kAlso: 16, 417, 10KP*
41.6% pure gold (10 parts out of 24)Usually silver, copper, zinc, and nickel
14kAlso: 583, 585, 14KP*
58.3% pure gold (14 parts out of 24)Usually silver, copper, zinc, and nickel
18kAlso: 750, 18KP*
75% pure gold (18 parts out of 24)Usually silver, copper, nickel, and palladium (for white gold)
22kAlso: 916, 917*
91.6% pure gold (22 parts out of 24)Usually silver and copper
24kAlso: 999*
100% pure gold (24 parts out of 24)None
900 PlatinumAlso: 900 Plat, Plat 900, Pt900, 900Pt*
90% pure platinum (900 parts out of 1,000)Ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, and other platinum group metals
950 PlatinumAlso: PLAT, PT, 950 Plat, Plat 950, Pt950, 950Pt*
95% pure platinum (950 parts out of 1,000)Ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, and other platinum group metals
*Alternate stamp or European hallmark
**May vary depending on desired color, such as white gold or rose gold
Additional Information
    Additional Information
    • The term "karat" (usually abbreviated as "k," "K," or "Kt") refers to the relative purity of gold; pure gold is 24 karats. "Karat" is different from "carat," which is a metric unit of weight for gemstones.
    • In the context of gold jewelry, "plumb" is an old-fashioned term that means that the fineness or purity level of the gold content is precisely what is stamped on the item. The word "Plumb" or the letter P still sometimes follows the metal stamp (e.g., "14k Plumb," "14KP").

Cherio!



 


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3 comments:

Jennifer said...

That was very informative! I did not know about any of it. Thanks for the information.

Stephanie N. said...

This was actually really informative. I've heard so many different things about metals -- the chart really helped!

I hope everything is going well for you! :)

Cynthia @ Richly Middle Class said...

I never knew that about different metals. Thank you so much for the informative chart.