Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/is it gold?


i have a gold? ring that is marked 8999. i want to melt it down but was unsure of the numbers and what they meant. can you help? thanks, howard. ps- i'm in the usa and will post a reply to the info

Hi, Howard.  Thanks for this question.

Markings for gold in the USA are these: 10k or 417, 14k or 585 and sometimes 583, 18k or 750.  The numbers show how much gold is in the jewelry alloy recipe. For instance, 18k has 750/1000 pure gold. Think of the numbers as a percent and it is easier. 18k would be 75 % pure gold and 14k would be 58.3 %.  The 583 for 14k is the actual amount required for 14k and is 58.3 percent pure gold with the rest other metals like copper and silver. The 14k number 585 is a European standard and is very slightly higher than 14k but has been adopted by most jewelry manufacturers around the world.

What you will notice is the number you have of 8999 is not among the legal markings for quality or karat of gold.  This sounds like a stock or model number to me.  Does that mean the ring is not gold? No. All we know is a proper mark for karat is not there.

Try this:  Take the ring to one of the many places with the "we buy gold" signs and ask them to tell you what it is or what it is worth. Any price they give will be scrap value less their profit.  Sell it if you want or if it is not gold, now you know. It if is gold, melt it or do with it as you wish knowing what the ring is.  That should work.

Best wishes. For you, I hope it is gold.

God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.  

Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals

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Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.


I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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