Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Baffling Stamp


Hi, I have an 18 karat white gold wheat chain with a lobster clasp that I bought at Bloomingdale's in Chicago, IL in 1998. There is a stamp on both sides, that read V1200. I'm completely baffled! Do you know what this stamp means and does it raise the value of the gold? Thank you so much for your time and consideration, I really appreciate it.

Kind Regards,

Dear Sara,

The mark V1200 is not one of the Federal regulatory stamps for jewelry, leaving us with the conclusion that it must signify something besides metal quality.  This mark may reference a manufacturers designation.

While the mark would not give us any reason to believe the value of the chain is affected, do keep in mind the differences in gold prices since 1998. April 30, 1998 the spot price for gold bullion was $310/ troy ounce.  In 2013, April 30 spot price was $1598. The necklace purchase price of 15 years ago is far surpassed by the cost of replacing the jewelry at prices today.

Thanks for the question. Marks are confusing and even the regulations leave open a few choices of how to stamp an article of precious metal.  The karat stamp will be either 18k(karat) or 750, showing the item is 750 parts pure gold out of 1000, otherwise 75% 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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