The imprint "18k HGE" on gold essentially means that the gold is costume jewelry with little or no value. "HGE" stands for "hard gold electroplated," which means the object is not solid 18 karat gold throughout. "18k" refers to the type of plating used on the outer surface of the object.Know More
Pure gold is 24 karats, or 24k. Therefore, 18 karat or 18k gold is 75 percent pure gold. However, if something has “HGE” stamped on it, it means that the object is made of a less valuable metal, such as copper, with a thin layer of gold on the surface to make it look like it’s made of solid gold. It’s only the thin layer on the surface of the object that has the 18-karat density. Electrochemical processes are used to bind the gold to other metals.
Gold plate is often used in costumes to save costs. It’s difficult to tell whether something is made of pure gold just by looking at it from a distance, so gold plating can be a good substitute. The gold plating also means that high percentages of gold, such as 18 karat, are used with gold plating at a cheaper cost when compared to a much lower karat that is solid gold.Learn more about Precious Metals & Gems
Fourteen-karat gold is gold that has been alloyed with equal parts silver and copper in order to provide additional durability and rigidity in jewelry, with the final product containing 58.3 percent gold, by volume. This same practice is applied to many gold products, because pure gold is too soft to be used as jewelry or other products.Full Answer >
Though not required by law, most gold jewelry pieces carry a quality mark that denotes the proportion of pure gold each contains. The letter "K" in the mark stands for the word "karat," the unit used in the gold-content rating system.Full Answer >
A "925" stamp on a piece of gold jewelry usually has no relationship with the gold but with the silver underneath. A "925" stamp on silver denotes a 925/1000 part purity, or a sample of silver that's 92.5 percent pure.Full Answer >
A piece of gold stamped "417 GS" is likely to be made from a low-concentration gold alloy. European goldsmiths avoid the American convention of stamping gold by karat, preferring a more precise decimal metric. In Europe, a gold piece labelled "417" is 41.7 percent pure gold, or 10-karat.Full Answer >