If my jewelry item isn't marked, how do I know if it is made of precious metal?
Many fine jewelry items of karat gold and sterling silver are not marked, either because of their small size or because they were made prior to 1906, when karat marking became mandatory in the US. In some instances, you may even find contemporary artist-made jewelry pieces that are unmarked for metal fineness.
All jewelry appraisers can determine the karat of an unmarked piece, as can many bench jewelers who routinely test unmarked items before making repairs. However, with the right supplies and a little practice, most jewelry sellers can learn to test their own jewelry items for precious metal content.
Click Here to View all the questions in Jewelry Requirements & Guidelines