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

Silver purity marks also specify metal content (for reference, sterling silver is 92.5 percent pure silver).

Additionally, a boar’s head was the mark of the Paris assay office, while offices outside the capital city used a crab emblem.

Since gold, silver, and branded jewelry are highly sought-after, encountering fake jewelry is always a risk that collectors need to keep in mind.

Therefore, for sterling silver, look for marks that include “925,” “STERLING,” “STG,” or “STER.” Keep an eye out for metals that are etched with “German Silver” or “Nickel Silver.” These pieces are not made up of any silver at all, but are actually composed of copper, nickel, and zinc.

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

Jewelry marks in France date back even earlier, with known examples first seen in the 13th century.Jewelry from the United Kingdom contains a series of compulsory and optional jewelry marks set out by the countries’ assay offices.One of the compulsory marks is the Assay Office Mark, a symbol which indicates the regional office that hallmarked the a fascinating subject, steeped in history, culture, and art.Often overlooked due to their intentionally hidden location and diminutive size, the etchings found inscribed on a piece of modern or vintage In the United States, the National Gold and Silver Stamping Act of 1906 required jewelers to include an accurate purity mark, which indicates the materials used in a given piece.

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If you have a piece of ivory in your house -- such as a piece of jewelry or a statue -- you might want to identify its authenticity.

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