Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/marking on a ring


Dear Thomas,
         I have bought a white gold/silver ring at a fair a few years ago it has stamped on it 825,im just wondering what metal would this be.I look forward to your reply.
         Many Thanks
         Melissa Sutcliffe

Dear Melissa,

Unfortunately from only this numerical marking the metal of your ring can not be determined. Most likely, the metal is silver with a mix of 850 parts pure silver and 15 parts other metals. Some jewelry from Europe years ago was 850 silver, as was some silver from Mexico in North America. This would generally be old items and 850 is considered uncommon. Sterling silver is 950.

Melissa, to know for sure this item is silver you need to have a jeweler test the metal. They will  likely not be able to test close enough to designate the parts per thousand such as 850 but the testing will reveal if silver is the primary metal in the alloy.  It is possible the numeral has nothing to do with metal quality.

If per chance white gold, this would be 19 1/2 karat, again quite unusual. While an American manufacturer does produce 19 karat items (Scott Kay) those modern items would be closer to 800 parts fine gold than 850.

If you paid a small price for the ring, consider it a silver mix but have it tested it important enough to learn in certainty.

Thanks for the question. Sorry that the answer cannot be definitive considering the information to go on.

God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.

Thanks for the question.  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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