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585 Gold Guide - 14K Gold

Updated on July 19, 2015
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Gold or other precious metals, especially jewelry, can come stamped with a plethora of different numbers, letters, and symbols. Believe it or not, but all of that actually means something, and says quite a bit about the piece of jewelry!

Gold is a big one when it comes to such stamps since there is such a variety of gold jewelry and purities available on the market today. What do all of the stamped messages mean? Here, I will focus on the number “585,” going into detail to decode the number, any meanings behind it, and anything else that may be associated with it.

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585 Gold Percentage

Given the title of this section, you can see that 585 stands for a certain purity of gold. It’s common knowledge that gold is usually stamped with some kind of grade, and in the United States, we are more familiar with the Karats system. It is totally possible to convert this number into Karats if you understand both Karats and Millesimal Fineness numbers.

  • Karats are a number that tell you how many parts of gold are in the piece out of the total maximum karats of 24.

  • Dividing a Karat by 24 will ultimately give you a good idea of Millesimal Fineness.

  • Millesimal Fineness basically gives you a percentage of how much of the piece is gold.

  • a 585 purity is equal to 58.5% gold, or 14 Karats (14/24=.583)

Sometimes you will see a stamp for 583, and other times 585. These basically mean the same thing and convert equally into Karats. You will never come across a piece of jewelry stamped 14.05K, it would simply be rounded down to 14K.

So, if only a portion of the piece is gold, what makes up the rest of it?

Alloys. Gold is melted down with other metals, such as copper or silver, to make an alloy in order to make it more durable or even just to make it cheaper. In the case of having a 585 pure, or 14K piece of jewelry, it means you have a piece of jewelry that is stronger than 18K, but not worth quite as much! In other words, if you’re looking for a strong piece of gold, but still worth a decent amount, 14K is probably your best bet!

Uses for 585 Gold

There’s a whole range of uses when it comes to gold, with jewelry being the top use. 14K gold is perfect for rings and necklaces since it’s rather strong! Always remember, the higher the Karat, the weaker the piece will be as gold is very malleable and requires other metals to build it up a bit.

14K gold is my personal favorite choice when it comes to jewelry, because although I love my gold, I love it more when it is strong enough to withstand my daily tasks. A 14K ring will be durable enough for someone who works a lot with their hands, but pure enough to still have some real value to it and not tarnish easily. Likewise, a 14k gold chain is great for someone who likes to wear a necklace but has a young baby who equally loves to tug on things!

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585 Hallmarks

Hallmarks on jewelry is a system is not as commonly used in the US as it is in other countries, and where it is used, it’s quite different. Since the US does not have a formal Assay system in place, where the piece of jewelry must be sent off to certify purity to be stamped with a hallmark, if the jewelry has a quality/purity mark, it must be accompanied by the manufacturer’s logo or identifying mark, rather than including an Assay office that certified it.

Hallmark laws will differ by country, which means the types of numbers and symbols you find on the piece will depend on where you bought it, and when the jewelry or gold piece was made! As far as a Millesimal Fineness hallmark, for gold, you may see a stretched octagon shape (which indicates gold) along with the Millesimal Fineness number, in this case, a 585. If you have a ring full of hallmarks, your best bet is to do a bit of internet research, or take it to a jeweler for identification.

Now that you have learned all about 585 purity gold, you might just be ready to go shopping outside of the US for some truly unique pieces and wow your peers about your knowledge on what those symbols mean!

No Hallmark? Find Your Gold's Karat Weight

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