Jewelry items made from precious metals are stamped with purity mark or seal to indicate the purity level of the metal composition. This stamp is usually in a hidden place on the item so it does not interfere with the design or appearance of the jewelry. Because of this you can find them on the inside of wedding band rings, on the back of a pendant or on the post of an earring. The Federal Trade Commission sets strict guidelines and regulations for all jewelry stamps. Common jewelry metal stamps are used to identify metals, trade marks, designer or manufacturer.
Note that colored golds (White, Red/Rose, etc.) can only have a maximum purity of 22 karats due to the alloys introduced into the gold to create their color. There is no such thing as 24k White gold or 24k Rose gold.
The table below list precious metal stamps, their meaning and purity level.
The FTC also allows gold filled products to market themselves at less than `1/10 10k GF` but requires a different designation. Products that that are composed of 12 karat gold for example, wherein the gold is less than 1/60 of the total product weight, can be marked as `1/60 12kt RGP`. The RGP stands for `Rolled Gold Plate`, and will wear down or start to show the base underlying metal sooner than `GF` graded products. Basically a RGP product is the same as a GF product above, but with an even thinner layer of gold used.
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