What kind of sample is gold – what do the numbers on the brand of the product mean, how to choose the best

The content of the article

Beauty will save the world! This phrase is great for discussing jewelry made of precious metals and stones. Using these expensive components, a real jeweler is able to create an alloy in any proportions. But after making jewelry from such an alloy, it is difficult to evaluate it and compare it with other similar jewelry. For these purposes, in the 17th century, jewelers for jewelry began to apply special criteria, such as gold samples, which make it possible to identify products by the content of the precious metal, the presence of additions of other elements, color.

What are gold samples

The ratio of the base metals in the alloy determines its quality indicator. These metals include gold (aurum), silver (argentum), copper (cuprum). The legislation of the Russian Federation establishes the mandatory branding of any alloys based on precious metals. An imprint is made on the jewelry indicating the quality of the alloy. This print is called a breakdown or stamp. Historically, brands in different countries of the world corresponded to the used weight standards. The metric system shows the content in parts of gold with a purity of 99.99% in 1000 parts of the alloy.

Brand with 585 breakdown of gold

Sample system

Gold with a content of 99.99% in the alloy is recognized as absolutely pure. In the carat system, this indicator is set to 24k. Further, in descending order, the standard 23k, 22k, 18k, 14k, 12k, 9k, 8k carats are used. What does a gold carat test mean? 18 carat jewelry means that in 24 parts of the alloy there are 18 parts of pure yellow metal. This system is used in the USA, Canada, Asia and some European countries..

Spool System

The spool system introduced in 1798 under the rule of the Russian emperor Pavel Petrovich is originally Russian. Its basis was the weight standard used in that period – the Russian pound, which consisted of 96 spools. When the mark was installed in 96 spools, the gold content in the tested alloy was 99.99%. Further, this figure decreased to 36 spools. To transfer from a spool system to a carat system, the mark must be divided by 4.

Assay brands of Russia and foreign countries

From the middle of the 17th century in Russia, the use of a double-headed eagle began to brand gold and silver products. The content of pure gold in this period was 83–85%, which corresponded to the purity of the imported gold coins of thalers or efimka from which jewelry was made. The stigmatization of gold objects in Russia was legalized by royal decree under Peter the Great in 1700. In Russia, 56 samples are most widely used, which corresponds to the current 585.

During this period, the coats of arms of the cities and the number of spools in the ligature pound were used for branding. Since 1899, a female face in a kokoshnik has been used for branding, which in 1927 was replaced by a profile of a worker with a hammer, and since 1957, a sickle and a hammer against the background of a five-pointed star. In Asian countries, hieroglyphs were used for branding. In Europe – the coats of arms of countries and cities indicating the sample in carats. The type of branding should not differ much from one manufacturer to another..

What are the gold samples

In life, we encounter jewelry made of this “despicable” metal (earrings, chains, rings) of different colors. Additional inclusion in the precious alloy of other metals is called ligature. Objects, depending on the content in the alloy of the ligature, acquire green, red, orange, yellow, platinum and white. The main content of the ligature are silver, copper, platinum (palladium), zinc. In base white alloys, nickel is used instead of platinum. What sample is gold, it is important to know the buyer before going to the jewelry store.

999 standart

The highest in content is 999 quality indicator. This alloy contains 0.01% impurities. This is almost pure gold. For the manufacture of jewelry such an alloy is not used, since it is subject to deformation, has a dull yellow color. This alloy is used to create bank ingots of various weights for sale to investors who want to save cash or make money on the growth of the value of precious metals.

At all times, noble metal has always been in price. During periods of financial crisis, demand for it and other precious metals rises sharply. Their quotes on all world exchanges are the main economic indicators. Bank ingots are sold by all banks in the world and are included in the deposit portfolios of large and small investors, and jewelry at all times gave women the opportunity to look rich and beautiful.

Gold bars with a breakdown of 999.9

925 test

Branding is subject not only to gold, but also from silver. If the product is 925, it means that you have a high quality silver jewelry. The amount of pure silver in it is 92.5%. Germanium and cadmium are used as ligatures along with silver to maintain the initial shine and the absence of darkening of jewelry over time. These additives were used by ancient craftsmen, they give a great look to silver masterpieces.

875 standart

The mark on jewelry 875 indicates a maximum percentage of silver of 87.5%. Items made from this metal are popular. They always tried to fake it. Options for replacing silver include alloys of lead, aluminum, and zinc. To give a silver sheen, fakes are coated with pure silver. When buying jewelry made of precious metals, pay attention to the presence of the brand number on all details of the pendant, chain or ring. In the store, jewelry should be sold only if there are seals with an attached passport of the manufacturer.

750 test

For ease of understanding, which means a test on gold, you should mentally break the product into 1000 parts or parts. The numbers 750 mean that in this product 750 parts of pure precious metal. This is the highest standard of gold in jewelry used in industry. 75% of gold in combination with copper gives objects from this alloy a characteristic reddish tint. 18 karat alloy is widely used to create jewelry in Asian countries, it is used to create gilt male and female accessories.

585 test

The most widespread gold samples on an industrial scale are 585. The net gold content in this alloy is 58.5%. The ligature in it is divided in the ratio of silver to copper, as 1 to 4.3. This is an experimentally established ratio of the volume of gold and additives. Jewelry with the tag 585 have a beautiful color and shine. Pendants, chains, rings, earrings, brooches and bracelets are made from this alloy in our country. To reduce the likelihood of counterfeiting on objects made of this alloy, the 5S5 mark is applied using the electric spark or laser method. It’s harder to fake than a simple print.

583 samples

In the early years of Soviet Power after 1927, the brand 583 was used (see photo below). This is the gold standard of the Soviet Union. Most of the rings and earrings inherited from our parents are of this quality. In the post-war period, 14 carat gold was widely used in Europe. If you divide 14 by 24 and multiply by 1000 you get 583. A large number of wedding rings, jewelry with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and semiprecious stones are made of this alloy. In 2000, the brand of 585 became the standard of Russia.

Photo of hallmark 583 on a gold product

500 sample

If the yellow metal content and ligature are equal, the sample becomes equal to 500. For industrial purposes, this standard is not applied, but this quality composition of the alloy is used in production by private craftsmen. Jewelry from it with an original performance or with a special theme gets the opportunity to be fully appreciated. Abroad, brooches, cufflinks, cigarette cases are made from an alloy of the 500th quality..

385 standart

Gold jewelry with a quality indicator of 385 contains more than half of its volume of additional materials. With an increased copper content, the jewelry gets a reddish tint. Silver in the alloy gives the product a whitish or even light white color. In order to make jewelry, alloys with good ductility and low melting point are used. This temperature for aurum is 1080 degrees Celsius, for silver – 1550, for platinum – 1780. To reduce the melting point, zinc is used in the alloy.

375 sample

The cheapest for making gold jewelry is an alloy of quality 375. A large amount of copper and silver in it leads to rapid oxidation and the appearance of dark spots. In the presence of small parts, it is difficult to restore the original appearance. Such an alloy is inexpensive, and provides the opportunity to make massive cheap jewelry. As long as jewelry production exists, so many organizations are involved in standardization, accounting and control over the circulation of precious metals. In the Russian Federation the Assay Chamber of Russia is engaged in this..

Gold samples in the USSR

In the USSR, GOST 30649-99 was used for the manufacture of jewelry and ceremonial products and semi-finished products from precious metals, which establishes the following types of gold samples:



Gold, %






10 – 25









19 – 29














What are gold samples with letters

Old masters did not issue certificates to their masterpieces. To distinguish jewelry items, convex markings were made with a company monogram or designation by whom and where the jewelry was made. Some jewelers add an additional stigma on gold to highlight their products in the mass. This sign is called the “name”. It is placed next to the stigma, and consists of 4 letters. The first letter indicates the year of manufacture. The second letter will indicate the place of testing products in accordance with the catalog. The last 2 letters encrypt the name of the manufacturer.

Letter mark next to the breakdown of gold

Which gold is better

Comparing the price and appearance of jewelry, 585 samples were widely used in European countries. Jewelry from it for a long time retain its original appearance. The cost of such goods is lower than products from 22 and 24 carat aurum of Arab sheikhs. The melting point, taking into account the use of zinc, is low. The stigma on gold items breaks through in areas invisible when used – inside rings, on clasps of chains and earrings. Nowadays, the most refined and elite are considered jewelry of Italian masters.

The most expensive gold

The highest quality indicator in jewelry in the metric system of pure gold with a purity of 99.99%. Chemically pure, 24 karat gold is widely used in Arab countries. In the jewelry markets of Dubai, you can see jewelry of huge sizes and bright yellow color. There is a historical explanation for this. The history of industry in these countries is more modest than in Europe. 50 years ago in their place was a desert, with Bedouins roaming around it. The jewelry was made by hand, and their size was to confirm the security of their owners.

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