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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/small sterling knife


QUESTION: I found this in an old purse. What does the 750 stamp mean? Has 3 makers marks on other side of blade. Thank you!

ANSWER: Cecilia,

By legal definition 750 means 18 karat.  This is the parts of pure gold per 1000 parts in the metal mix.   Think of it also as 75%  Pure gold is 24 karat, so,.075 x 24k = 18k.  Is there a mark saying the knife is sterling silver?  That is an abbreviation of sterling, ss or 925(using the numerical marking a with the 18k)?   

If an item is two precious metals, that is to be shown by having both marks on the item.  If the knife is actually silver, then part of it or possibly and applique or adornment to the knife is 18k gold. This would likely be a "dress knife", a knife for a gentleman or a lady used only for small tasks.

The best way to know just what is what if color does not make it obvious is to have a jeweler test the metal. There might be a slight fee for that service.

God Bless and Peace.  Thomas.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Yes it also has sterling stamped on other side of blade. Where can I look up hallmarks, lion, anchor&A? I think it may be Gorham. Can't seem to send a pic, sorry. Thanks Much for your help.


What you describe sounds like hallmarks used in Great Britain. This link will help:

Items meet speific standards and are submitted to the "assay office", then stamped to become legal to sell.

Here is a list of the office for Great Britian and Ireland:

Current assay offices

   London Assay Office
   Sheffield Assay Office
   Birmingham Assay Office
   Edinburgh Assay Office

Historic assay offices

   Dublin (now in the Republic of Ireland)
   Exeter (closed 1883)
   Chester (closed 1962)
   Glasgow (closed 1964)
   Newcastle (closed 1884)
   Norwich (closed 1702)
   York (closed 1857)

These are found with a basic search such as Birmingham Assay Office, Great Britain.
Marks are given for the office involved in stamping the knife, the metal, sometimes date of manufacture.  This is a good marking system providing a lot of information.

God Bless, have a great Christmas.   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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