Ring stamped 10k what does that mean

Which jewelry stamps are there?

Small pieces of jewelry made of gold, silver and other metals are very often found Jewelry stampwhich may have been supplemented by another motif. These numbers are information about the fineness of the respective material. The details of the fineness are given in thousandths. On pieces of jewelry made of gold, the content can be specified as 333, 555 or 999, for example. The applied numbers or motifs are referred to as hallmarks in technical terms.

By the way, the gold content used to be given in carats. This only changed with the stamp law enacted in 1884.

The stamping itself is done with so-called stamping tools. These emboss the intended pattern or the corresponding sequence of digits into the metal. The stamp shows how high the proportion of the substance is that it contains the most in terms of quantity.

German regulation differs in part from European requirements

For the FRG there are regulations for stamping gold and silver jewelry. Items made of palladium or platinum, for example, do not have to indicate the fineness. There has been a symbol for silver since 1888. This consists of a crescent moon, to the right of this there is a crown. The crescent here stands for the precious metal silver, while the crown symbolizes the imperial crown. The fineness was hallmarked next to this symbol.

Nowadays, the crescent moon and crown are no longer hallmarked on silver. But they can still be found on old everyday objects, for example on cutlery or inherited silver jewelry. Nowadays, silver is stamped with 925 (sterling silver) or 970 (enamel silver), among other things. The silver content in these cases would be 92.5 or 97.0 percent.

Some hallmarks that are common here in Germany are not in use abroad or are even prohibited. For example, a 333 gold hallmark is only permitted in Italy and Greece, except in Germany. Elsewhere, this alloy is considered inferior. Only objects with a fineness of at least 375/000 are referred to as gold. In Switzerland, instead of the 333 mark, the designation “GAM” is used on the metal. The abbreviation GAM stands for guarantee metal.

Who is authorized to put a hallmark on a piece of jewelry or other object is usually determined by law.

How is the engraving made?

In the past, the engraving was done by a steel engraver. In the meantime, this work step is carried out automatically, for example using a milling cutter, a laser or "spark eroding". The new technology makes it possible to engrave almost anything in the piece of jewelery, provided there is enough space. For example, the bride and groom could have the signatures of both partners engraved on the rings. It is no longer necessary to fall back on predefined letter forms.

Further articles

Goldsmith's stamp

What does the stamp 90 on silver cutlery mean?


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