How do I know the quality of my jewelry?

How do I know if my jewelry is gold?

To find out if your ring, bracelet, necklace or earrings are gold, you can use the different techniques presented below.

The first thing to do to know if your jewelry is gold, is to see if it has a punch. Indeed, the legislation requires manufacturers to put a punch if gold is present. In France, 18-karat gold is represented by an eagle’s head, 14-karat gold by a shell and 9-karat gold by a 3-leaf clover. For international punches, 18 karat gold is represented by the number 750. For 14 karat gold, 585 and for 9 karat gold, 375.

18 kt. gold
French punch

14 kt. gold
International punch

9 kt. gold
International punch

You can also test your jewelry with a magnet. If the jewel is not attracted to the magnet then it is gold because gold is not a magnetic metal. If, on the contrary, he is attracted by the magnet, it is because your jewel is not made of gold.

Another way to know the quality of your jewelry is to have it appraised. There are a lot of gold buy and sell stores that offer free expertise. A good way to be fixed!

In case you have been wearing your jewelry for a long time, if it does not blacken, discolour or leave marks on your skin, it is indeed gold. Otherwise, you can be sure it is not.

Finally, there are two other methods but we do not recommend them because they may damage your jewelry.
The first is to bite the jewel. If the bite mark is apparent, the piece of jewelry is real gold or gold plated.
The second technique is to scrape the jewel on an unglazed ceramic plate. If the jewel leaves a golden mark, it is because your jewel is indeed gold.

How do I know if my jewelry is silver?

To know if your jewelry is in solid silver, you must first look for the presence of a punch. The French punch is represented by the head of Minerva and the international punch by the number 925.

Solid silver
French punch

Solid silver
International punch

In case you have another punch, we invite you to go to a jeweler, who will analyze it.

Another technique is to use a magnet. If the jewel is not attracted by the magnet, then it is solid silver or silver plated.

How to recognize the quality of my jewel?

To do this, you must check whether the jewel has a punch. Indeed, European regulations require jewelers of member countries to put a punch on gold, silver and platinum jewelry.
Even if there is no European consensus as for the shape of the punch according to the several materials, the punch remains the best warranty.

In France

18 kt. gold
14 kt. gold
9 kt. gold
Silver
Platinium
Gold-plated or silver
  • On 18 karat gold jewelry, the punch is an eagle’s head. On 14 karat gold jewelry, a seashell and on 9 karat gold jewelry, a 3-leaf clover.
  • For jewelry made of 925 sterling silver, this is the Minerva.
  • And for pure metal platinum jewelry, the punch is shaped like a dog’s head.
  • Square punches designate gold or silver plated jewelry.

International convention

75018 kt. gold
58514 kt. gold
3759 kt. gold
925Sterling silver
850Platinium
  • The punches for 18 kt. gold jewelry are represented by the number 750. For 14 kt. gold, 585 and for 9 kt. gold, 375.
  • For silver jewelry, the punch is represented by the number 925.
  • On platinum jewelry, the punch 850 will be put.

There are also punches specific to each master jeweler. These have the shape of a diamond.

What is fashion jewelery?

So-called fashion jewelry is jewelry in which there are no precious metals, such as gold, silver and platinum. There are, however, other metals such as brass, copper and bronze.

To make fashion jewelry, also called designer jewelry, you do not need to take any training.
Conversely, the manufacture of jewelry in gold, silver, platinum, precious and semi-precious stones requires years of study. The practice of the profession of master jeweler is regulated by law. Indeed, the latter has the obligation to declare the exercise of his profession to the customs office, he must also have his own stamp and keep a register of purchases and sales.

How to tell the difference between a jewel and a fashion jewel?

Nothing’s easier.
If there is a punch on the jewel, it is because it contains a precious metal, that is to say gold, silver or platinum. On the other hand, if there is no punch, it is a fashion jewel.

However, it should be noted that putting a punch is not always possible due to the shape of the jewel. In this case, it will be necessary to refer to the description of the jewel to know if it is composed of a precious metal.


If you still have questions about jewelry, we invite you to continue the article series devoted to this theme.

  • Part one: Expertise your jewelry
  • Part two: Maintain your jewelry
  • Part three: Wear your jewelry in all circumstances
  • Part four: Buy quality jewelry at a good price
  • Part five: Allergy to jewelry

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