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Deciphering Jewelry Markings

Following is an in-complete list of common precious metals & jewelry markings:

Gold Markings:

“14KS” – 14K Gold plated over Silver (fake gold)
“14K FG” – Gold Filled (very heavy plating). This mark is usually followed by a fractional number, i.e., 1/20 10K GF
“14K P” – Plated 14 carat gold.
“14K.P.” – Plated 14 carat gold.
“14K GS” – Gold Shell (gold plated).
“14K HGE” – Heavy Gold Electroplate (gold plated).
“14K GRP” – Gold Rolled Plated
“10KP” – 10 carat gold plum, meaning it’s actually 10K as stated.
“14KP” – 14 carat gold plum, meaning it’s actually 10K as stated.
PGDA, in relation to gold jewelry, seems to stand for “Piercing Pagoda” – a company that sells lower-quality jewelry through little kiosk stands in malls, and they’ll pierce your nose publicly! 😉 I think, then, your item was made for sale by PGDA in Italy.
“10K” – By law all U.S. karat alloys can be 2.0833 lower than stated. Thus, gold marked as 10K is may be 7.9167 to 10 carat.
“14K” – from 11.9167 to 14 carat.
“18K” – from 15.9167 to 18 carat.
“22K” – from 15.9167 to 18 carat.
“24K” – from 21.9167 to 24 carat
“999″ or “9999″ – from 21.9167 to 24 carat
Decimal equivalents of karat ratings:

.375 = 9K (mainly England and Canada)
.417 = 10K
.500 = 12K
.583 (sometimes .585) = 14K
.625 = 15K (not common)
.667 = 16K (rare)
.750 = 18K
.833 = 20K (Asia)
.917 = 22K (Asia)
.999 (sometimes 1000 or .9999) = 24K pure gold
Silver Markings

925 (.925) = Sterling
925 NV = Nevada Silver
835 (.835) = a lower quality of Silver, a second standard for countries
Sterling
Taxco
STER
999 (.999 or Fine) = Pure Silver
Platinum Markings

Pt (atomic symbol)
Irid. Plat.
Pt 900 – 90% pure
Pt 950 – 95% pure
PLAT – usually 95% pure as jewelry
Other Jewelry Markings

316L = High-grade Stainless Steel
[No Marking] – Probably Not Precious Metal
B14K = ‘B’ means before, meaning it’s 2 carats less than 14K, or 12K (usually made in China). This is because the Chinese have a different system for karats and their karats are worth 0.24% as much.

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