All solid gold and silver jewelry contains a hallmark. This hallmark is a stamp affixed by the goldsmith and by a Guarantee Office. From this hallmark, you can tell what the gold or silver content of the jewelry is.
A particular label is used for all contents. So you have hallmarks of 9 carats, as well as 14, 18 and 22 carats. Wondering what the number of carats means? You’ll read about that in blog 2! This is because it also tells us that 14 carats is equivalent to 585 parts of 1,000 parts of gold. This number, 585, is used as a hallmark. Is there a 585 hallmark on your jewelry? Then it means your jewelry is made of 14-karat gold. Does your ring say 375? Then your ring contains 9 carats of gold.
With silver jewelry these days, you can often come across the hallmark 925. This means that the jewelry is made of 925 parts silver out of 1000. Silver used to be more expensive and less silver was used. So in vintage and antique jewelry, you often see the sign 800 or 835 incorporated into the jewelry.
In addition to the hallmarks/markings for gold content, other hallmarks are sometimes applied that tell you what region your jewelry comes from, or what year your jewelry was made. Thus, letters are applied to trace the year, images are used to indicate the city. For Edinburgh, for example, a castle is used as a hallmark and London uses a running lion for silver.
Different labels are used for each country.