Buying jewelry can be seen as an investment because it adds to your look or the value of the jewelry piece itself. However, not all jewelry pieces are valuable, and often, you can tell from the inscription on the jewelry.
These inscriptions can tell you the material it is made from, the purity of the precious metal, and sometimes, even where it is made. But it is only helpful if you understand what they mean, so we’ll discuss a common hallmark you may have seen: 925. What does 925 mean on jewelry?
What does 925 mean on jewelry?
925 is a hallmark traditionally used for sterling silver jewelry.
Since silver is a soft metal, it is hard for jewelers to work with it in its pure form, so they use an alloy to make jewelry.
💡 Did You Know? The standard silver used for jewelry in the United States is sterling silver, an alloy of silver containing 92.5% of pure silver and 7.5% another metal – usually copper.
Sterling silver is a popular white metal typically more affordable than platinum, another white metal.
What does 925 mean on gold jewelry?
925 on gold jewelry means that the base metal is a silver alloy containing 92.5% silver and other metals. When gold jewelry bears the 925 stamp, it means the sterling silver base has been plated with gold. This metal is usually called gold-plated sterling silver or gold vermeil.
💡 What’s the Deal with Vermeil? The difference between gold vermeil and other gold-plated jewelry, asides from the sterling silver metal base, is the specification of the plating. It needs to be plated with at least 10K gold, and the thickness of the gold layer should be at least 2.5 microns.
If you also see STER on your gold jewelry, it is gold vermeil. Even though gold vermeil looks like solid gold, it still needs the kind of maintenance gold plated jewelry needs and the plating can wear off over time.
Is 925 gold pawnable?
925 gold is pawnable because of its sterling silver base. The jewelry price would depend on the weight, the type of jewelry piece, and the current price of silver in the open market.
Unfortunately, not all pawn shops accept silver, so you have to find the ones that do.
What does 925 Italy mean on jewelry?
925 Italy hallmark on a piece of jewelry means that it is a sterling silver piece made in Italy.
What does 925 China mean on jewelry?
925 China hallmark on a piece of jewelry means that it is a sterling silver piece made in China.
What are some other common jewelry stamps?
Jewelry stamps are used to identify the metals used to make jewelry pieces and the quality of those pieces. Here are some other common stamps you should know how to read.
10K, 14K, 18K, and 24K
Karats (k) is a unit of measure for the amount of pure gold a piece contains, and it is measured in 24 parts. 10K inscribed on jewelry means 10 out of 24 parts of the jewelry are pure gold. The higher the karat value, the more valuable your gold jewelry is. 24k is used to denote solid gold.
CZ stamp denotes the jewelry made from cubic zirconia, a stone resembling diamond and is a more affordable alternative.
900 Platinum, 900 Plat, Plat 900, Pt900, or 900Pt
These stamps are used to denote that the jewelry is made of platinum. The number 900 included in the hallmark represents the amount of platinum the jewelry contains.
In this case, it contains 900 parts platinum and 100 plat other metals. Jewelry with the hallmark 900 Plat is considered high-grade platinum.
Sk9 platinaire indicates that the jewelry piece is made from platinaire, an alloy that combines sterling silver and platinum. The alloy contains 92.5% sterling silver, 5% platinum, and 2.5% other metals.
Sk9 platinaire jewelry does not contain nickel and is hypoallergenic, so it is unlikely to trigger allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin.
GE, GP, and GF
GE denotes the jewelry is electroplated, while GP means it is simply gold plated. GF denotes that the jewelry is gold-filled. Jewelry with these stamps should not be confused with solid gold jewelry.
PD is the stamp used on palladium jewelry. Palladium is a popular alternative to platinum, even for rhodium plating, because it is more affordable.
S.S. or St. Steel
S.S. or St. Steel markings denote the jewelry is made from stainless steel. Stainless steel contains 12% chromium which makes it resistant to rust.
Is 925 jewelry worth buying?
Sterling silver is certainly worth buying, especially if you want a high-quality metal on a tight budget. 925 jewelry is made from a desirable precious metal, has resale value, and is durable.
Plus, because it contains a high amount of silver, it takes a long time to tarnish. How fast it will tarnish depends on how often you wear it, humidity, exposure to body products, and household cleaning solutions.
Gold vermeil is considered the best quality gold jewelry after solid gold. Although it can still tarnish, it will be after prolonged exposure to sweat and various chemicals.
It’s worth buying gold vermeil if you love the look of gold but cannot afford to buy pure gold. Just be sure you’re not buying it at the price of a solid gold one. However, if you plan to use the jewelry piece as a family heirloom, we recommend buying real gold that will not tarnish.
Read the Code
Jewelers typically engrave markings on their jewelry pieces, but you can only tell the difference when you understand them.
So, when next someone asks the question, “what does 925 mean on jewelry?” you can answer that it is a marking for sterling silver even when it is used on gold jewelry. Such gold jewelry is called gold vermeil, and it is better than other gold-plated jewelry.
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