How Is Gold Stamped on Jewelry?

Written by claudette pendleton
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How Is Gold Stamped on Jewelry?
(flickr, kimli)

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Gold Jewelry Basics

Gold jewellery is one of the most beautiful forms of jewellery that will always hold its value. If the gold is pure, it does not tarnish. Some metals build up residue; but gold by itself does not. However, some people experience an allergic reaction, or they have problems with staining on their skin when carat variations of gold are combined with other types of metal. Gold artisans can hammer and form gold into practically any shape he desires. Gold is so durable, that it can even be hammered into very small stringlike pieces without easily breaking.

The Stamping Process

According to the 1906 National Gold and Silver Marking Act, gold jewellery is required to be stamped with the amount of carats it holds. The purpose of this is to guarantee the value of the carats. This must be done by all jewellers who sell gold or silver. Special stamping tools are used for stamping jewellery. The stamps are labelled with the carat amount on it ranging from ten carat to 24 carat. When it is time to stamp the jewellery, the proper stamp is chosen according to how many carats the jewellery consist of and the stamp is hit with a hammer. This results in a deep embossing of the carat amount imprinted inside of the jewellery piece. The jewellery is then guaranteed by the jeweller that the jewellery consist of the carat amount stamped on it within 1/2 carat.

Gold Jewelry Stamps

Gold jewellery has markings or stamps such as 18K, 14K or 10K. The K stands for carat or carat. The markings reveal the amount of pure gold that a piece of jewellery holds. The higher the carat number, the higher the gold amount within the jewellery. For example, jewellery labelled 24K is pure gold. Eighteen carat (18K) jewellery consists of 18 fractions of gold and 6 fractions of one or more other precious metals. Eighteen carat gold is 75 per cent gold. Fourteen carat (14K) gold jewellery consists of 14 fractions of gold and 10 fractions of one or more other metals. Fourteen carat jewellery is 58.3 per cent gold. Twelve carat (12K) gold consists of 12 fractions of gold and 12 fractions of one or more other metals. 12K gold is 50 per cent gold. Within the United States, 10K gold is the lowest carat that can be considered gold. Ten carat gold is only 41.7 per cent gold.

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