How is white gold jewelry stamped?

Updated July 19, 2017

Gold is alloyed with other metals to make it stronger and more affordable. White gold is gold alloyed with a white or silver metal such as fine silver, nickel or palladium. All gold jewellery should bear a stamp or mark specifying the carat. The carat system indicates the gold content in parts of 24. For example 10-karat gold contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts of another metal.

24 Karat

24 carat is pure gold. It is not often used in jewellery because it is too soft and would break or bend during wear. It is marked with "24K."

18 Karat

18 carat is occasionally used in earrings or other pieces of jewellery that are less likely to be banged or bumped during wear. It is marked with "18K."

14 Karat

14 carat is the most commonly used carat for jewellery, including rings, necklaces and bracelets. It is marked with "14K."

10 Karat

10 carat is the lowest carat that may be sold as gold jewellery. It is sometimes used in rings because it is much stronger than the higher alloys. It is marked with "10K."


Gold-filled or gold-plated jewellery has very thin outer layers of gold with an inner layer of a base metal such as nickel. These pieces will be marked as "GF" or "GP," sometimes with a carat accompanying it such as "14K GF." Do not mistake this for gold jewellery, as it does not contain the minimum requirements of gold to be sold as such.

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About the Author

Andrea Moreland is a metal smith and craftsperson residing in Arizona. She has written college-level course materials for her classes and workshops in 2008/2009. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in metals with a minor in English from East Carolina University in 1995.