Understanding Gold Purity

Gold Purity and How to Understand it

When you have come in possession of a piece of gold jewelry, you might have seen a stamp somewhere on it that reads 10K or another number followed by a “K.” In short, it’s an indication of how much gold content the jewelry is made of. You might not see “10K” stamped on it, but there is a “417” stamp in its place, which also means 10K.


For example:

417= 10K

585= 14K

750= 18K


To understand these numbers, you need to understand that a gold piece of jewelry that is stamped “10K” is not pure gold. Most gold jewelry is not pure gold. There are other metals mixed in with the gold to form an alloy. Alloying gold increases its hardness among other things. So 10K also means 417, which means that a 10K gold ring has 41.7% gold content. Another way to look at it is pure gold is 24K, so 10K means ten parts gold and fourteen parts other metal, 14K means fourteen parts gold and ten parts another metal or metals, and so on.

Be aware that not all jewelry that has a numbered stamp on it is gold. There is a lot of fake or plated jewelry that is in circulation and being sold as “gold” jewelry. Right now, there is a lot of jewelry stamped 18K that is being used as a scam to trick someone into thinking they are getting a real piece of gold jewelry.

It is best to purchase your gold jewelry from a jewelry store or if you would rather get more for your money and pay less, a pawn shop. All the gold jewelry at our four locations have been through a series of tests to ensure that it is real and available to the public at great prices.

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