What does "18KT H.G.E" mean when it is stamped on a piece of gold?
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What does "18KT H.G.E" mean when it is stamped on a piece of gold?

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Quick Answer

The stamp "18K HGE" on a piece of jewelry means that it is 18 karat gold with heavy gold electroplate. The "HGE" portion of the stamp means that it is heavy gold electroplate. Brass is another commonly used substance in jewelry.

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Full Answer

All jewelry made from precious metals must be marked with a three-digit number, and sometimes other markings are also required. According to Foremost Jewelry, manufacturers often add the markings the packaging or the tags instead of placing microstamps on small pieces as of 2014. Gold plate jewelry also must be marked or stamped to certify the value of the metal. Some other markings that are used for gold electroplate jewelry are "GE," "EP," "GEP," "HE" and "HGE."

Electroplate gold jewelry is made of other materials, and the plating of gold is applied electrolytically. The gold is equally applied to the piece of metal before making the jewelry piece. Legally, the plating of GE must be 10 karats or above and at least 7 millionths of an inch thick. HGE, on the other hand, must have a thickness of at least 100 millionths of an inch.

There are many other methods and terms for gold plating, which include "gold filled," "gold overlay," "layered gold," "rolled gold," "vermail," "gold tone" and "gold wash."

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