You are here:

Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Markings on gold jewellery


Which countries mark their gold jewelry as 14k or 18k?


I can provide general information only on this subject because of lack of a centralized list of hallmarking standards for all jewelry producing countries and because of changes which occur in marking regulations within those countries. For instance, the British marking method now is numerical, using a 3 number method as is also used currently in most of Europe and on goods imported into the British commonwealth and the USA.   Not long ago a karat number would be seen on British goods such as an 18 within a particular shape stamp representing gold. Now, the 18 is replaced with 750 and 14 is replaced with 585.

The kt(or k) mark and the ct mark mean the same thing, will be seen regularly and either is a legitimate abbreviation for the word karat(non-British) or carat(British). Keep in mind, the ct mark is generally within countries using British standards while much of the rest of the world uses kt or more recently numerical hallmarks.  Use of kt prevents confusion with the abbreviation of carat as used for a measure of weight, especially of gemstones. The following link gives some information on usage of karat marks:

The numerical markings used today are called "millesimal" numbers, essentially a form of fineness of pure metal represented as parts per thousand. For instance, 18k is 18k/24k or 0.750.  24k is considered pure gold and 18k is 75% or 0.750 pure gold in the metal recipe. The three numbers are used to represent the quality of the jewelry metal and the mark is simply 750.  Modern 14k is 585, a number which represents a slightly higher than actual 14k fineness but is adopted world wide. To be on the mark, 14k would be 14k/24k= 0.583. If you see a 583 mark it is 14k and not slightly over as is 585.

Jewelry items made for export to other countries generally need to be marked with a standard mark accepted and recognized in the importing country. For instance, since most jewelry sold in the USA is manufactured in other countries, those countries stamp the items according to hallmarking regulations used within the USA, using either numerical or kt markings.

The hallmarking system within the UK is often considered one of the best. See this link to one of the government approved assay offices for more information:

You will not find the answer to your question here but will have available a wealth information regarding recent and historical jewelry hallmarks of the UK.  There are a few assay offices and items sold within the UK must go through one of those offices for approval testing(and stamping) prior to being placed on the marketplace.

This link is for French hallmarks. Note the symbols used.

If imported into the USA standard mark would be recognizable as a kt or numerical marking.

Michael, I realize this information does not list out countries using one form or the other of hallmarking.  I am slightly out of my field in this question, being formerly a jewelry designer and maker, not historian. However, this info provided should help. Keep in mind that a country may use a different mark for goods sold with in that country and may revert to the numerical or kt convention for exported goods.

I do hope your Christmas holiday was joyous and that the coming new year will bring good to you. God Bless and Peace.   Thomas.

Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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.

©2016 All rights reserved.