Q:

What do the numbers and letters mean on jewelry?

A:

The numbers and letters on jewelry indicate the metal and karat weight of the jewelry, and sometimes the stone. The exceptions are the low numbers, 6 through 10, because those are ring size marks.

As new alloys are added to the jewelry-making industry, the list of marks inside jewelry grows. Common marks, however, include numbers beside a letter "k," such as 14k for 14-karat gold, and 24k for 24-karat gold. In less expensive jewelry, SS is a common marking, indicating the item is made of stainless steel. Sometimes, stones are also noted in the markings, with SOL indicating a diamond solitaire, and CW indicating carat weight of the stones.

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