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How to Decipher Gold Markings


Those of you who are interested in treasure hunting on your own might need to know what the gold hallmark stamps mean.  It may be confusing at first, but this quick guide will help you out.  The first essential you need to invest in is a jeweler’s loupe–a 30 x 21 mm is what I use.  This will allow you to get an up-and-close look at the stones (to look for any chips or at the clarity) and the prongs (hopefully they are not worn).  Next, check out the hallmark.  The guide below will help you decipher what that stamp means:

  • 375   =   9k
  • 417   =   10k
  • 583   =   14k 
  • 585   =   14k
  • 750   =   18k
  • 834   =   20k
  • 875   =   21k
  • 917   =   22k

The 3-digit number hallmark is stamped on a piece of jewelry of European origin.  Above are the North American equivalents.  Some hallmarks that indicate that gold is not real, not pure are: 10kGF (meaning gold filled), 18k HGP or 18k HGE (meaning heavy gold plate/electroplate).


Above are some of the regional markings for several European nations.

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