Many gold lovers will often notice the letter markings on gold jewelry.

Aside from them authenticating gold pieces, many know exactly what these markings mean. 

These marks, known as hallmarks, tell you the contents of what you are buying. 

Understanding what each of these marks means makes you more aware of what you are buying as a consumer. 

Here, learn about the most common symbols on gold jewelry and what they mean. 

417

This number means the item is 41.7% pure gold. This makes it 10 karat gold. The remainder, 58.3%, is a mix of other metals. These can be silver, nickel, and copper. 

Often, jewelry made from this combination is much easier to clean and lasts longer. 
 

585

This means 58.3% gold or 14 karats. The conventional marking system has it that precious metal markings have to be rounded off to the nearest 5 or 0. 

This is why you see a '585' marking instead of the rightful '583' to represent 58.3% gold. 

You have three options when buying 14 karat gold; white gold, pink gold, and yellow gold. The specific type of alloys and the quantity of each is what determines the gold color.
 

750

A 750 marking indicates a piece is made of 75% gold. This has a higher purity than the 585 and the 375. 

With this, you get more elegant pieces that are also hard to dent. 750% gold is also ideal for people prone to allergic reactions from the jewelry. 

Jewelry with a 750 mark means the piece is 18 karat gold. 
 

ET

ET means Etranger. 

This marking means the jewelry item was made in France and has a lower karat than the typical France standard of 18 karats.
 

None Content marks

Not all markings on jewelry relate to the content of gold used to create each piece. Some of the markings you will see are logos, trademarks, or the designer or manufacturer’s initials. 

Examples of these include MK for Michael Kors, T&Co for Tiffany’s, and JM for James Mason. 
 

GP and GF

GP means gold plated, meaning the jewelry pieces with this stamp have been plated with gold but have a different metal underneath. These plating also have different finesse ratings, almost always stamped on the item as well. 

GF, on the other hand, means gold filled. This means that the jewelry was made by bonding a thin layer of gold to a base metal.
 

Looking to Update Your Collection?

If you are looking to update your collection, it’s essential to understand what these symbols mean. However, buying from reputable outlets can guarantee that the pieces you buy have not been altered in any way. 

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