If you have inherited a treasure chest of jewelry you can’t identify; if you’ve received jewelry and you don’t know if it’s real; if you want to sell your jewelry but don’t know if it is valuable; if you’re the type who researches all the facts before you buy; if you’ll be buying and collecting jewelry at garage sales and antique stores as an investment – this guide is for you! All you will need is a magnifying glass, jeweler’s loupe and good lighting.

  • On a ring, the marking is inside the shank.
  • On a chain or bracelet, it’s at the end on a piece called a tag, or on the clasp.
  • On a pendant, it’s on the bail, which is the part of the piece that the chain goes through, or it’s on the back of the piece.
  • On earrings, it’s on the post, or on the back of the piece.

How to Tell if My Gold is Real

Sell Gold Rings and Bracelets in MichiganIn America the standard is 10k gold or better. In other countries 8k or 9k is an acceptable value. If you’re wondering whether or not your gold is real, the most reliable way to find out is to take it to a certified refiner and have it tested. If you want to check for yourself, look at each piece for the following assay markings:

  • 8K or 333
  • 9K or 375
  • 10K or 417
  • 14K or 585
  • 18K or 750
  • 20K or 833
  • 22K or 875
  • 24K or 999

How to Tell if My Item is Silver

Most high quality silver items are stamped with a “fineness” or “quality” mark. This mark designates the precious metal content of the jewelry, and under federal law, must be accompanied by a maker’s mark or registered trademark. Look for the following:

  • Sterling
  • Sterling silver
  • Ster
  • SS
  • .925 or 925
  • Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 5.00.20 PMEnglish hallmark of a lion (make sure it looks like the one in this image as it should be facing left)

How to Tell the Difference Between Silver and Platinum

The colors of platinum and silver jewelry are very similar. The most reliable way to tell if your item is silver, platinum or fake is to take it to a certified refiner. If you want to check for yourself, look for the following assay markings:

  • Plat
  • Pt
  • 880
  • 900 PLAT
  • 950 PLAT
  • 10% IRID 90% PLAT

What If I Can’t Find Assay Markings?

If you don’t see these markings on your jewelry, don’t worry; your items still may be genuine. Take any pieces you’re unsure of to a refiner. These experts will be able to tell you if your items are real and how much they are worth. Some refiners even offer a free estimate over the phone! Refiners use advanced testing methods to determine the most accurate value of your items. For more information, call 877-744-0872.

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