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Know More about Your Gold and Silver Before Selling

There are plenty of companies on the market today that will happily buy your scrap gold and silver jewelry, and pay you a good amount of money for it. Most of these companies will buy anything you can bring to their store or stuff in an envelope. These items include gold and silver jewelry, gold rings, broken gold watches, gold and silver coins, gold bars, cufflinks, and whole random assortment of items that you would rather sell than hold onto.

But there are some types of gold and silver items that are generally worthless. Usually this can be determined by the stamping on a price of gold or silver product. Stamping originated in the 1900’s to indicate what is in a piece of jewelry, and in most places it is the law to have to stamp gold or silver items.

Gold, Silver, and Platinum Stamps

Gold jewelry is marked with a number or a karat number to indicate that % of gold that makes up the jewelry.

You can read this handy gold conversion chart to understand what these markings mean. If your piece of jewelry has one of the markings below, it means that it does contain some amount of precious metals, which is gold, silver or platinum. The types of markings you may find include:

  • .917 means 22K
  • .585 means 14K
  • .417 means 10K
  • .375 means 9K
  • .333 means 8K
  • PT950 – indicates platinum content
  • Plat950 – indicates platinum content
  • 950 – indicates platinum content
  • Platinum – indicates platinum content
  • Plat – indicates platinum content
  • 5% Irid-Plat – indicates platinum content
  • Iridium Platinum
  • 925 means Sterling Silver

Gold Stamps with Little to No Value, or Antique Value

There are a few markings or stamps on gold items that indicate that the items contain very little gold. These include:

  • (GF) Gold Filled – is made by joining or bonding, under heat and pressure, a layer or layers of a karat gold to a base metal. This “sandwich” is then rolled or drawn to the required thickness. Gold Filled wire is made by forming a cup or tube of gold with a core of base metal. When drawn to size, the wire is gold around its entire diameter.
  • (GP) Gold Plated – Gold plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver (to make silver-gilt), by chemical or electrochemical means.
  • (RGP) Rolled Gold Plated
  • (RP) Rolled Plated
  • Gold Counterfeits: 999, 999 Gold, or 999 Solid Gold – indicates pure gold, but plenty of counterfeiters use this markings.
  • (HE) Heavy Gold Plated
  • (1/10) or (1/10 GF) 10k Gold Filled – “Gold filled” applies only to items composed of a layer of gold pressed (not alloyed) onto a base metal where the weight of the gold comprises at least 1/20th of the total weight of the item. Fineness must be shown by stamp, e.g. “1/20 12 k G.F.” means the gold layer is 12 karat gold and comprises 1/20th of the total weight of the item.
  • (1/20) Gold Filled
  • (EP) Electroplated – “Gold electroplate” or “gold flash” or “gold washed” mean a gold coating that is 10 k or better gold at least 0.000007 inches thick. A variant, “heavy gold electroplate” (H.G.E.P.) is at least 0.0001 inches thick.

Silver Stamps with Little to No Value, or Antique Value

If your item contains one of the markings below, it does not mean it is necessarily worthless. Your item either contains too little silver to be worth melting for silver value, or is an antique piece that can get you more money by dealing with antique dealers rather than precious metal buyers. Some of these markings are from companies (Rogers Silver) that date back many, many decades – so understand what you have before tossing it out!

  • Silver-Plated
  • Rogers Silver
  • Coin Silver
  • 900
  • 915
  • Mexico
  • 800
  • International Silver

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Posted in Precious Metals