People who love & know precious metals and gold are familiar with hallmarking. Standard markings will help you determine the purity of precious metals, including gold. This is where gold hallmarks can be handy. Gold calculators are widely available online, and in order to use such tools, you should know the gold type and its weight.
Getting the weight is really easy since most modern kitchen scales are accurate. However, identifying the gold type can be a challenge. With a little bit knowledge on gold hallmarks, you should be able to decipher or read the stamped hallmark on the jewellery or item. If you don’t know anything about gold hallmarks, it will be hard to understand the symbols.
On the item or gold jewellery, you will see unusual gold hallmarks or symbols, shapes, numbers, and drawings. Each of these markings represents something, so be sure to examine the piece carefully. It is said that gold hallmarks will vary depending on the country where you live, but the hallmarks can help you in identifying the purity of gold.
The first marking indicates the maker of the gold item. It represents the manufacturer, and it can usually be seen as letter initials. The maker marking will be followed by the Gold Standard Mark or the Crown. This will reveal the carat of the item (e.g. 9, 12, 14, 15, 18, and 22). However, in 1932, the twelve and fifteen carat markings were stopped. Any of the four carat markings can be used to indicate the gold’s carat.
One of the most important marking in gold hallmarks is the mark for the purity or fineness of gold. The stamp’s shape will reveal if you indeed have a gold item in your hands, or whether it is silver or platinum. If the shape of the stamp is rectangular with shaved-off corners, then you’re definitely dealing with gold. However, an oval shape stamp indicates silver, while the house-shaped stamp means it is platinum.
Within the stamp shape is the millesimal number. This reveals the metal content of the item. For instance, a gold item with 333-fineness will mean that it has 33.3% of gold content; the higher the number that is indicated under ‘fineness’, the more gold content the item has.
In the UK, additional gold hallmarks can be found on the gold item. The marking will represent the assay – it can be an anchor symbol (Birmingham), rose (Sheffield), leopard (London), or castle symbol (Edinburgh).
Finally, the last mark of the gold hallmarks represents the year that the gold item was tested or certified for its fineness. For instance, a letter-T mark represents the year 1968. The hallmark of a gold item can reveal a lot about its history. As long as you know what the symbols mean, you will be able to identify the gold type that you have in your hands.
Once you’ve identified the weight of the gold item and its type, you can use any of the gold calculators online. Even if you are not an expert, you can use the gold hallmarks are your guide.