Have you noticed small letters and numbers that were engraved near the clasp of your gold jewelry or inside a ring band? If so, what do they mean? Read on to find out what these symbols means when they are stamped on jewelry.
k, K, Kt, etc.
These symbols mean karat. They refer to the relative purity of gold. You should keep in mind that karat and carat are different. The latter is a metric unit used to denote the weight for gemstones. Pure gold will be 24 karats
GF stands for gold-filled, which is a term used to indicate that a layer of gold was bonded to a base metal. Oftentimes, that gold layer is thin.
It stands for High-Grade Electroplate. HGE means that the jewelry you own is not solid gold. These are pieces that generally display the gold's karat fineness.
GP means gold plated and there is another metal underneath that thin layer of gold. Additionally, such pieces of jewelry almost always has the plating's karat fineness listed as 18K GP.
This is a very common symbol used to denote the presence of real sterling silver. It means the piece contains approximately 92.5 percent of pure silver; with other elements mixed in to form the product.
900 Platinum or 950 Platinum
The following stamps; PT950, 950PT, 950, PT900, 900PT, and 900, designate that the piece comprises one of the two most common platinum alloys. Symbols with 900 indicate that there are 900 parts per 1,000 pure platinum; whereas symbols with 950 indicate that there are 950 parts per 1,000 are pure platinum.
10K, 14K, 18K, 24K...
If you only see these stamps on your piece, it means that the piece is solid gold. The numbers denote the karat fineness of the gold. As mentioned, 24K is the highest number. If it is 18K, for example, the piece may contain other elements such as palladium.