Published: 15 May 2018

Know the hallmark on gold in the US

Rules regulating gold hallmarking in US

A gold hallmark indicates that the gold content in jewellery has been evaluated and that the gold adheres to international standards of purity. But did you know that the process of gold hallmarking is unique to every country?

If you are buying gold abroad, you need to know how to identify hallmarked gold so that you can be sure you are getting what you are paying for.

Here is a guide on gold hallmarks in the United States of America.

In the US, an item’s karatage can be identified by independent signage close to the piece of jewellery or verbal information, rather than on the piece itself.

However, if it is marked, it must also have a trademark stamp in close proximity to identify its origin. In the US, the fineness in parts per thousand is often used to indicate purity instead of karatage.

But what does a US gold hallmark look like?

In the US, there is no single official gold hallmarking system for gold jewellery. Instead, there are independent assaying agencies across states and cities.

Jewellers of America is one of such agency. Association members have the letter “J” above the entrance to their stores to guarantee the quality of their gold jewellery and obligations to observe the Code of Ethics.

FTC (Federal Trade Commission) guidelines for the Jewellery Industry , provide for the following marks:

  • The karat quality mark indicates the purity of gold.
  • 10k – 10 karat gold is the lowest karat gold available in the US, and is composed of 41.7% gold among other metals.
  • 14k – 14 karat gold is one of the most popular gold purities for gold jewellery. 14 karat gold consists of 58.5% gold.
  • 18k – 18 karat gold consists of 75% gold.
  • 24k – 24 karat gold is the purest gold you can find. It is made up of 99.9% gold.
  • The name or the U.S. registered trademark (name, a symbol or initials) of the jeweller or another company that assumes responsibility is carved near the karat quality mark.
Related: Basic terms to know before buying gold

If you have bought gold in the US and are planning to carry it back to India, make sure you read this to know the necessary rules and regulations: Everything you need to know while travelling with gold.