Most people have heard of 925 or even seen it stamped on the side of a sterling silver piece. But, what does it mean when it’s stamped on gold?
It is important to understand what 925 on gold means so that you know what you’re buying. If you don’t know, you could buy the wrong thing by accident, and you stand the risk of being ripped off!
This article will explain fully what 925 means on gold and sterling silver jewelry and why it’s important to pay attention when shopping for gold jewelry.
(Spoiler warning) If you already know and you’re a fan of gold vermeil, why not check out our catalog? Here at Blush & Bar, we’re experts in this field and have a gorgeous collection of 18K gold vermeil jewelry.
Joyce Layered Stack Ring
Charisse Vintage Ring
Midi Knuckle 2-Ring Set
What does 925 mean?
The number 925 is commonly stamped into the hidden sides of silver jewelry. This stamp is called a hallmark and is designed to inform the buyer what kind of metal is used in the jewelry and the purity of the metal.
The 925 numbers and its related stamps mean that the silver jewelry is made of sterling silver.
A 925 stamp on gold doesn’t relate to the gold at all. If you see a sterling silver stamp on a piece of gold jewelry, it just means that it isn’t solid gold. Rather, it’s gold-plated. The 925 just means that sterling silver is the core metal.
Usually, gold-plated jewelry with sterling silver as the base metal is called gold vermeil.
What is gold vermeil?
Gold vermeil is typically known as “demi-fine” jewelry. It’s the middle ground between fine jewelry (pure gold) and fashion jewelry (non-precious metals). This is because gold vermeil jewelry is made entirely of precious metal—just two different kinds.
In gold vermeil, whether it’s white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold, the base metal is sterling silver, and the gold plating is at least 10 karats. In fact, 10K is the legal limit. Mostly it will be 14k gold, and on the higher end, jewelry will be 18k gold.
Just remember: When you see 925 on gold, it does not mean that the gold is 92.5% pure. Instead, it’s referring to the sterling silver base metal.
If you’re looking for equally attractive yet way more affordable gold jewelry, then gold vermeil is the answer. At a fraction of the cost, you don’t lose any of the looks. And, gold vermeil is available in yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold.
As far as gold jewelry goes, you won’t tell the difference, and your bank account will be thanking you for the choice!
On the other hand, if you’re a stickler for fine jewelry and want it to be solid gold, gold vermeil isn’t for you.
Knowing what certain hallmarks or stamps mean on both silver jewelry and gold jewelry is incredibly important. It means that you know what you’re getting.
There’s nothing wrong with any kind of jewelry—whether you prefer gold vermeil or solid gold, it doesn’t matter. But if you think you’re buying a 24K gold ring with a massive diamond, and it turns out to be gold plated with cubic zirconia, you’re going to be upset.
And some retailers will try to sell you gold vermeil at the price of solid gold.
Knowing the difference is going to stop you from getting ripped off. And who knows, you might even find some sneaky bargains at yard sales!
To buy gold vermeil or not?
Gold vermeil is the perfect choice for many people. The affordability of the gold/sterling silver combo is hard to pass up! And, it looks fantastic.
It depends on your taste. If you’re happy to buy gold jewelry stamped with 925, then why not?
But either way—make sure you know exactly what you’re buying. Any retailer worth their salt will be able to show you the stamps on the jewelry. And now you know how to tell for yourself!