Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/Gold Content


I have piece of jewelry that is stamped 3/4C.  What does this mean in terms of gold content?

Dear Samuel,

If that is the only marking, the information is insufficient to know what it might mean. I can tell you that in the USA those marks have no relationship with the quality of the metal. In Great Britain a "C" is used instead of the "k" used in the USA for the word karat.   We use the word karat to define quality of gold and carat (c) to designate the weight(mass) of a gemstone, two totally different things.

If the jewelry has gemstones in it, this could be a factory marking to indicate the total gemstone weight. Jewelry produced in large quantity with different gemstone weights will sometimes carry a stamp indicating the stone weights.  This would be consistent with the mark 3/4 C.  Marking of stone weight in a jewelry item is not a legal standard since stones removed or added or changed will alter the weight and because the weight given is approximate to be suitable for mass production.  The stamp assists a sales person and in taking inventory should other indications of stone weight be misplaced. This type of mark is sometimes seen with Cubic Zirconia merchandise.  High grade items with gems will not carry a carat marking in the metal.

Metal quality will be designated with marks approved by the National Gold and Silver Marking Act and include numerical designations, indicative of the amount of pure precious metal in an alloy or overlaid metal item. One example is 18k, meaning 18 parts pure gold in the recipe out of 24 total parts. (24k is considered pure gold.)  This is also legally marked with parts per thousand of pure metal and that mark is 750, simply meaning 0.750 or 75% pure gold in the metal mix.

The mark 3/4 C has no relationship to metal quality, at least not in the  USA or in other countries with well defined metal stamping regulations.  

If the item is gold or some other precious metal, a jeweler who does metal testing should be able to tell you with a quick and simple test.

Samuel, I do wish you the best. 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.

©2017 All rights reserved.