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A piece of jewelry with an etching that reads “18k” or “750” indicates that it is made up of 75 percent gold, while a “14k” or “585” mark indicates the metal is constructed with 58.5 percent gold.
Jewelry engraved with HGE (Heavy Gold Electroplate), GE (Gold Electroplate), or GF (Gold Filled) may appear to be made of gold, but is actually fashioned from other materials such as copper and contains only a very small amount of gold.
If you’re purchasing jewelry online, always ask for clear pictures of the jewelry marks from the seller to help you ensure it’s a genuine piece.“Hallmarks tell the story of the piece, and usually what country the item came from, as well as the artist and date made.” The date letter stamp, a requirement for British jewelry until 1999, is useful to know if you need to date a piece of vintage or retro jewelry.Silver pieces imprinted with a lion denotes 92.5 percent silver — thus sterling silver — while the Britannia mark means that it has 95.8 percent pure silver.Many of these symbols and letters found on jewelry originate from assay offices.Jewelry from the UK contains a series of compulsory and optional jewelry marks set out by the countries’ assay offices.
collections created by designers Frank Gehry, Paloma Picasso, Jean Schlumberger, and Elsa Peretti also feature the designers’ signatures on the jewelry.