Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Jewlery


Hello, i have a floral diamond cluster tennis bracelet that has PL stamped on the clasp.I would like to take it to a jewelry shop for help with my question but i thought i would send you my question first. It is a silver color looks like white gold but with a slight chrome tint,almost like a gray tint.PL is the only thing stamped on it.What does the PL mean?

Hi, Eugene.

I will try but honestly there is little to work with. The ideal direction is to have a jeweler look at the tennis bracelet and test the metal if need be.  If you purchased this bracelet, the price would be a big clue as to whether it is precious metal or not, compared to perhaps sterling silver w/ diamond bracelets.  Either gold or one of the platinum family metals is going to be much, much more costly than sterling(precious but less costly) and costume will generally be much less than sterling. If costume, the stones are likely not diamonds but a look-alike.  You can check out how price compares on the net if you know the original price.  If not, a jeweler is the best choice.

I will tell you something of quality marks as allowed by the National Gold and Silver Marking Act, the regulations for stamping precious metals of various forms which is legal in the United States.   This act is a little confusing to read but may be found by searching for the name as written in the preceding sentence.

One intent of the regulations is to do away with confusing markings.  A marking of PL if a reference to the metal would be considered confusing and would not be acceptable.  First, we do not know if this PL is referring to the metal content or is the makers mark.  Personally, I suspect it is the makers mark.  If precious metal, there should be another mark somewhere, perhaps on the bracelet itself, possibly hidden somewhere on the back.  Platinum needs the “t” to be a reliable mark and palladium needs a “d”.  As PL, the mark would be definitely uncertain for either metal and the “t” and “d” are needed to clarify the marking since these letters are not shared by the metal names.

A grayish or even bluish tone to a “white” precious metal tends to say palladium but the mark does not confirm that one way or the other.  Platinum is whiter, not bluish or gray enough to “look” tinted inmost but not all cases.

Silver with a tarnish preventing electroplate may look like overly white chrome from a plate of rhodium.  Silver may also be plated with other tarnish preventing metals which will make for a softer look but off-white, tending toward the gray side slightly.

I am not in the business of guessing and with the info I have it would definitely be a guess to say what the mark might be.  The best I can do is say this: The mark does not meet the standards of the marking act used in the USA (including imported goods for sale here).  That would mean the mark is either misapplied or has nothing to do with the metal and something to do with the identity of the manufacturer.

I hope the answer to your tennis bracelet mystery is pleasing.   Thanks Eugene, hope this helps a little.

God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.  

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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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