Most precious metal items are marked with stamps and marks. Since ancient times, marking jewelry, coins, or even kitchen items has been a common practice. Therefore, valuable metal objects have been often used to commit fraud and forgery.
This is why jewelers and coin makers implemented stamping to mark their products and protect them from fraudsters. It is possible to determine the 925 value of a ring by looking at its weight and stamp. Let’s examine this topic more closely by looking at some facts and tricks.
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Stamping and Marking
The stamp is usually placed on the inside of the ring. You may find it quite small so make sure to have a magnifying lens handy. The stamp may be one, two, or more letters, numbers, and sometimes a combination of both.
It is possible to get confused as different markings on a ring can mean different things. This can confuse the uninitiated.
The hallmark 925 stands for high-quality silver. Let’s find out why this particular number is important. Pure silver is a silver item that contains 1,000 units. Pure silver, also known as fine silver, can be difficult to work with because it is extremely soft.
Only a small number of items and details can be made from pure silver, like ornaments or decorations on earrings or pendants. All other parts are made from silver mixed with a small amount of alloys.
Mark 925 is the most commonly used when talking about silver jewelry and coin. These jewelry contain 92.5% silver and only 7,5% other alloys. Its properties are remarkable because it is a strong and sturdy metal that can withstand mechanical and scratching impacts. It is a popular metal for jewelers, who make rings, bracelets and necklaces out of it.
Different percentages of silver may have different markings. However, the most popular is 925. This is because stamping has changed over time. The reason for this is not only historical but also geographical. Let’s see.
Through History, Stamping
You can find silver hallmarks 800, 958 and 999 in addition to 925. Sometimes, you might even find a stamp indicating Italy or a hallmark with a lion sculpture. As you can see, 999 is fine-silver, and 800 only 80%.
Old Egyptian silver is only 60% silver. This means you could be fooled into thinking that the band is very valuable . It is actually made of 600 of 1000 units of silver. This makes it almost worthless.
An earlier time, every European craft shop that traded with silver had a different stamp. Every piece of jewelry came with its own stamp that included details such as the date of manufacturing or the name of the shop.
Italy’s sign, or the lion hallmark, indicates that this 925-quality piece of silver is from Europe. These marks are a guarantee that your sterling ring is a fine piece of jewelry.
Silver origins may show that the silver is not as pure and high quality as it should be. German silver can have an 800 hallmark, except for Egyptian. This signifies that the silver is not of high quality.
All silver items in the US had sterling or sterling silver hallmarks until the 1860s. This changed over time. Nearly all jewels and rings have the marking 925 between the 1960s and 1970s. These markings are a sign that your piece of jewelry is 92.5% sterling.
You should ensure that you get the most valuable silver ring possible.
You can always check the value of any old jewelry if you find a different hallmark.
Gold Ring with 925 Hallmarks
Sometimes you might find a ring made of gold with a 925 mark. Don’t worry! It is most likely a regular silver ring. However, it appears to be made of gold.
Sometimes, the silver ring is gold-plated. They do have gold on their outside layer. When the hallmark reads 925, it indicates that silver is beneath the thin layer of gold.
You shouldn’t pay more for a silver ring in such cases. The thin layer of gold will not increase the ring’s value.
Markings on the Gold-Plated Silver Rings
You should be aware that the markings on a gold-plated silver band may differ slightly. You can also find letters like GP (golden plated), and GEP (golden electronplated) other than the 925 hallmarks. These stamps show different methods of covering silver items with gold.
|Hallmarks for silver rings
|Hallmarks for gold plated silver rings
|Various letters and numbers
As you can see, the markings for silver rings and silver rings plated with gold are entirely different. So, you won’t mix them up the next time you want to buy a ring for some special occasion.
How Much Does The 925 Ring Cost?
Unfortunately, the silver ring doesn’t cost a lot. In fact, its price is far less when compared to the gold ring of the same weight. The price of one gram of gold and a gram of silver is not even comparable.
The price of silver is not stable, and many things can affect it. So, you can use an online calculator to get the actual ring price. In any case, buying a silver ring will save you a lot of money compared to purchasing a gold one.
Let’s consider some prices for silver rings according to their models and weights. The rings with more details and with gems and rocks will cost more than simple wedding silver rings. However, you shouldn’t pay either option too expensive.
Simple Silver Ring
Nowadays, you can purchase some simple 925 rings for less than $1, while you will pay up to $15 for the more complex models and those richer in style. On the other hand, if you choose a diamond ring made of Sterling silver, it will cost you much more, even $1,150.
Gold-Plated Sterling Ring
Some 925-gold-plated rings can be more expensive. An average 925 silver ring will cost $14 to $20 with a 14K yellow coating. This is a much more affordable option than purchasing a 14K-gold ring. However, you still get a beautiful, blinking piece that is equally valuable, as the silver is pure gold.
You should know one thing when you purchase a plated sterling silver ring. You will see the silver as the gold coating begins to wear down. This cheaper option might be the best for you if you don’t mind.
How to Test Silver Quality
It is always a good idea to have your silver ring checked in a certified jewelry shop or pawnshop. It’s a quick and simple task that will allow you to quickly find what you have.
A professional will take a small amount of your ring and remove it from an unnoticed area. Next, apply a nitric acids to the silver. You can tell if the silver is sterling silver if it has a milky white hue. If it turns green, you’ll know you have fake or silver coated ring.
If someone offers you an unmarked engagement ring, you should not buy it. It is usually made of cheap metal and plated with a thin silver layer. To avoid wasting money, you should always buy stamped rings.
A ring that looks and feels like silver, but has unusual hallmarks, is usually a sign that you have an antique piece. You can still find models that were made during the time when every jewelry shop had its stamps. You can only test the jewelry that you already own.
You should always check the hallmark on your ring to ensure that it is not worth less than the fair market value. The ring’s price will vary depending on its quality and the model. The overall price of a ring will be affected by other factors, including the embedded gemstone, personal engraving, ornaments and millgrain.