|"585" is the European hallmark for gold that is 14 karat, or 58% gold & 42% other metals.|
So I thought that maybe it was time that put together a simple, easy to read cheat sheet about purity hallmarks. Of course, this is a beginner's guide and is obviously not all-inclusive. I've not included maker's marks but I tried to just hit the main examples. I hope that this quick chart, and the following photo examples, provides a simple reference resource for you!
|This modern, vintage-inspired example bears the marks for platinum & 18k gold - "PLAT" & "18K." This example is |
from the U.S. & also bears a maker's mark, "BEL," which is the Bijoux Extraordinaire registered hallmark.
|A modern example, made to be sold in both European & U.S. markets, this ring bears the |
American "18K" purity mark & the traditional European purity mark, "750."
|This cute little vintage cameo ring, bears the "10K" purity mark & is available on eBay, $150.76.|
Curious about the percentage of purity of the gold as represented by the karat weight? Here's a quick reference chart:
Hopefully, you've found these little cheat sheets helpful! I know it can be overwhelming trying to remember what all the marks mean, especially when collecting European jewelry.
If you are still interested, and feeling undaunted, there are also a lot of great resources out there about the British Hallmarking System! Check out the Birmingham Assay Office for more information and examples.