Dating costume jewlery

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A piece of jewelry with an etching that reads “18k” or “750” indicates that it is made up of 75 percent gold, while a “14k” or “585” mark indicates the metal is constructed with 58.5 percent gold.

Jewelry engraved with HGE (Heavy Gold Electroplate), GE (Gold Electroplate), or GF (Gold Filled) may appear to be made of gold, but is actually fashioned from other materials such as copper and contains only a very small amount of gold.

The study of jewelry marks is a fascinating subject infused with history, culture, and art.

Often overlooked due to their minuscule size, the etchings hidden within jewelry are a window into the “who, what, and where” of the object— and are well worth a serious look.

If jewelry is marked with “Vermeil,” it is a piece of sterling silver topped off with gold plating.

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