Gold Stamps And Markings in Australia: How Do I Determine Whether My Item Is Gold, Silver, or Platinum ?

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    Knowing what your jewellery is composed of can give you a better indication of what your item is worth. You will discover how to determine if your item is gold, silver or platinum in this article. 

    Real jewellery, particularly made of white gold, silver, or platinum, can be quite difficult to distinguish, especially if you don’t have much knowledge about jewellery. But there are still some home tests and examinations you can do which we will cover in this article.

    How can you determine if an item or piece of jewellery you received as a gift or inheritance is white gold, silver, platinum, or a cheap well-refined iron?

     

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    Let’s start with the basics and visually examine your piece for either: 

    • Jewellery hallmarks chart 
    • Gold stamp numbers 
    • Symbols stamped on jewellery 

    If these marks are not on your jewellery than you are either holding a fake or a very old piece of jewellery. If they are present than you might be able to determine its value on your own.

    Jewellery Hallmarks Chart 

    The quickest approach to determine what your jewellery is made of is to consult the Jewellery hallmarks chart. When it comes to jewellery, there are frequently a number of indications engraved on the back of the piece. These indications indicate what the object is composed of. 

     

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    Jewellery carrying gold stamps and markings Australia can differ from those processed in other countries such as Europe. The item’s hallmark can be better deciphered using the Jewellery hallmarks chart. 

    The jewellery hallmarks chart may carry different information. Some of the information it could be carrying are:  

    Marker Mark

    A Makers Mark, often known as a trademark, is the designer, industrial firm, or symbolic mark imprinted into the precious metal. This stamp, which is termed “signed,” proves that the jewellery makers or designers manufactured your jewellery item. There are lots of maker marks in Australia and every mark must be registered with an Assay Office. 

    Assay Office Mark

    The Assay Office Mark identifies where your item was confirmed for purity. Although precious metal manufacture has existed for thousands of years, it did not begin in Australia until roughly 1901. 

    Many precious metals, such as gold and silver in Australia, will be marked with European marks; thus, it is critical to be aware of them. Even in Australia, the standards governing hallmarking did not take effect until 1923. So, if the item has been in the family for centuries, it is possible that it does not bear either the European or Australian mark.

    Gold stamp numbers

    Most gold objects have what is known as a gold stamp number. These stamps are primarily etched in small portions of the piece, usually in a difficult-to-see place, and detail the purity of the metal. Most stamp numbers will require a magnifying lens unless you have superhuman eyesight. 

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    Stamps are vital to inspect since they can easily distinguish real gold from fake gold in most circumstances. 

    There are many examples of gold number stamps. Here are a few and their meaning: 

    • 750 or 18K — 18 Karat Gold or 75.0% Gold  
    • 585 or 14K — 14 Karat Gold or 58.5% Gold  
    • 417 or 10K — 10 Karat Gold or 41.7% Gold 
    • 18 Karat Plum — 18KP (exactly 18K or higher) 
    • 14 Karat Plum — 14KP (exactly 14K or higher) 
    • 10 Karat Plum — 10KP (exactly 10K or higher)

    Symbols stamped on jewellery 

    Various symbols could be stamped on the jewellery, such as: 

    • Purity Markings 

    The most common hallmark denotes an item’s precious metal purity. Begin by inspecting the shape of the stamp. A piece of jewellery made of gold can be identified by its rectangular shape with squared corners. The item is silver if it has an oval stamp. A ‘house’ shaped mark distinguishes platinum goods. 

    The millesimal stamp number is the number contained within the form that indicates the actual gold, silver, or platinum content or purity. It is also crucial to remember that different countries have distinct hallmarking regulations. As a result, the marking on your items may vary. 

    • Date Letter 

    A date letter is a stamp created to inform the item’s owner of the year the item’s purity was tested (not the year the item was manufactured). This is rarely found on delicate jewellery because there is simply not enough space on the jewellery for such details. 

    If your item has a date letter, it will not be a standard calendar date. The date on the precious metal will be written as a letter. This method can be traced back to the United Kingdom. In 1478, the United Kingdom instituted the practice of dating all silver and gold items, which a governmental agency oversaw. 

    Every year was assigned a letter of the alphabet to prevent fraud. To avoid misunderstanding, they would make changes to the fonts or designs around the letter every 25 years. 

    However, even if the item with you contains a date letter, it may appear strange, and you will be unable to determine if it was a date letter or simply something inscribed to trick people. So, in this case go to a professional lab for assistance reading the product and making sense of the inscription. 

    Other ways you may use to determine if your item is gold, silver or platinum 

    There are other ways to determine if your item is gold or silver. Some of them are: 

    1. Perform A Scratch Test 

    A scratch test is one of the most common methods for determining whether an item in one’s possession is made of gold, silver, or platinum. Purchase an acid scratch test kit to accomplish this. However, this is not a suggested test for someone who is not trained to do it as it might cause damage to the object and result in a loss of hundreds or thousands of dollars. 

    2. Use a magnet  

    This is a wonderful method to identify if the item you’re holding is valuable or if it’s just regular refined iron. Silver, platinum, and gold, for example, are not magnetic. If you bring a magnet close to the item and the magnet attracts it, it is a dead giveaway that does not include real silver, gold, or platinum. However, it is crucial to note that the jewellery buckle (the closing mechanism) could be magnetic. This does not imply that the item is fake. 

    Its reaction to a magnet could be meaningless since some nonmagnetic metals are employed in counterfeit and imitation objects. So be aware that a magnet on its own should not be relayed upon. It is recommended that you have the item tested by a trustworthy specialist.

     

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    Conclusion

    White gold, silver, and platinum have identical looks and cannot be differentiated by the naked eye. Additionally, even if you do hold one of these metals it may still lack gold stamp numbers or hallmarks, as gold stamps and markings Australia were only introduced in the mid-1900s. 

    Some jewellery designers are highly good at making iron look like precious metal. This fact has made it more difficult to identify gold, silver, or platinum today more than ever. Identifying the value of your item is crucial, as it can determine how much you can sell it for. We recommend to test your gold with a reputable gold merchant to receive an honest evaluation of your platinum, silver, or gold. 

     

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