When examining a piece of gold jewelry, you may notice small numbers stamped inconspicuously onto the metal. One common marking is 585 - but what does this little stamp actually mean?
Understanding 585 gold is key for jewelry buyers and collectors looking to ensure the authenticity and value of their gold pieces.
In this complete guide, we'll demystify the meaning behind 585 and other gold jewelry markings, teaching you how to verify the purity of gold marked 585.
What Does 585 Mean on Jewelry?
The 585 stamp indicates the purity of the gold used to create the jewelry piece.
Specifically, 585 gold is 14 karat gold, which means it is made up of 58.5% pure gold mixed with 41.5% alloys like silver, copper and zinc. This mixture helps increase the strength and durability of the gold.
So when you see a 585 marking, it signifies that the item contains 58.5% pure gold. This differs from jewelry marked as 417, 375, or 750 gold, which have different percentages of pure gold content.
Why is 585 Gold Used for Jewelry?
585 gold offers an ideal balance of affordability and durability for jewelry makers and consumers.
Pure 24 karat gold is extremely malleable and soft - not ideal properties for jewelry meant to be worn every day. Lower karat golds like 10K and 14K are therefore more commonly used, as the alloys strengthen the gold.
Of these, 14 karat 585 gold is one of the most popular gold karatages. It contains a high enough percentage of pure gold to retain its beautiful golden shine and value. Yet it has sufficient alloys to increase its hardness and workability. This makes it suitable and accessible for a wide range of jewelry types and price points.
Authenticating 585 Gold Jewelry
Unfortunately, unscrupulous sellers sometimes fraudulently stamp jewelry as 585 gold when it contains less pure gold - or no gold at all!
So how can you be sure that a piece genuinely contains 58.5% pure gold?
Here are some tips for verifying 585 gold:
- Examine the stamp - Authentic 585 marks should look professional, not hand-etched. The numbers should be clear and uniform.
- Use a gold testing kit - These kits come with acids or stones that react with gold alloys. Just scratch your jewelry and apply the acid or stone to test purity.
- Bring it to a jeweler - A professional can examine prongs, weight, coloring and other signs of authenticity. They may also have gold testing equipment.
- Check for a hallmark - Many 585 gold pieces have an additional stamp from an assay office certifying purity. Popular hallmarks include the UK assay office marks.
- Review paperwork - Reputable jewelers provide paperwork with details on gold content. Save receipts, appraisals and certifications to ease future authentication.
Also read: How to clean stainless steel jewelry?
Caring for and Cleaning 585 Gold Jewelry
Once you've verified that your jewelry is authentic 585 gold, you'll want to take proper care of it for years of wear. Here are some tips:
- Remove jewelry before swimming, exercising or cleaning. Exposure to chemicals can erode gold alloys.
- Store pieces separately to prevent scratching and tangling. Use soft cloth pouches or boxes.
- When cleaning, avoid harsh chemicals like bleach. Use a mild soap and soft brush then rinse and dry thoroughly.
- For polishing, use a designated polishing cloth to gently buff away dullness and grime.
With proper care, an authentic 585 gold jewelry piece can become a treasured heirloom!
Frequently Asked Questions About 585 Gold Jewelry Markings
What does it mean if jewelry is stamped 750?
- 750 refers to 18 karat gold, which contains 75% pure gold. This is a slightly higher purity than 14 karat 585 gold.
How can I find out if older jewelry without markings is 585 gold?
- For antique or vintage pieces with no markings, you'll need to have the metal tested by a jeweler to confirm gold purity. They can test with acids, electronic testers or other methods.
Is 9 karat gold the same as 585?
- No, 9 karat gold contains only 37.5% pure gold, compared to 58.5% in 14 karat 585 gold. 9 karat is lower purity and value than 585 gold.
What does 417 or 10K marked on gold jewelry mean?
- 417 and 10K gold both represent 10 karat gold, or 41.7% purity. This is a lower gold content than 585 and less valuable.
What marking would 18K gold have?
- 18K gold is marked as 750 to denote its 75% gold purity. This is higher purity than 585 but less durable for extended daily wear.
Understanding markings like 585 provides immense value for gold jewelry buyers and collectors. When you can accurately interpret gold purity stamps, you can verify authenticity and pay fair prices. For 585 gold, recognizing the meaning behind the marking allows you to confidently purchase durable, beautiful 14 karat gold pieces. With proper care, your 585 gold can provide a lifetime of enjoyment.