Q:

What does the mark "417 GS" mean on gold?

A:

Quick 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.

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Full Answer

In the United States, 10-karat is the lowest concentration that can legally be sold as gold, as of 2014. The "GS" stamping is an abbreviation for "gold shell," which indicates that the piece is plated with a layer of gold rather than containing solid gold throughout. A 417 GS piece of jewelry, therefore, is probably made of a base metal and coated with 10-karat gold.

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    What does 14k gold mean?

    A:

    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.

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    What does the imprint "18k HGE" mean on gold?

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    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.

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    What does a "925" stamp mean on gold?

    A:

    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.

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    What do gold markings mean?

    A:

    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.

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