What Does 925 On Gold Jewelry Mean?
2 gold engagement rings with a 925 marking inside the ring

925 on gold jewelry means that the base metal is an alloy with 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, covered with gold plating.

I bet you’ve been jewelry shopping and suddenly saw some code on a bracelet or a necklace.  Maybe 228 or 925.  Does this mean you’re being followed by MI-5? Or that you have a Bingo? Is there a secret 925 jewelry code?

Well, these are actually called a hallmark.  It’s any little number code etched into a piece of metal used for fashion jewelry.  The whole thing comes from an old English tradition of metal smiths having to take their wares into a board that certified their quality.  The board would then stamp a hallmark on them.

These days, the makers of the jewelry themselves put the hallmarks there.

The hallmark 925 (or .925 or 0.925) is traditionally for sterling silver, and that’s why people get confused.  They fear they’re either getting ripped off or there must be some confusion.

925 silver ring with marking

925 And Silver

925 is the standard hallmark for sterling silver, and sterling silver is one of the most common places you’ll see it.  The other way to read 925 is 92.5.  It shows that the piece of sterling silver is 92.5 % pure silver and 7.5 % alloys.  That is an acceptable quality of sterling silver.

What is Gold 925?

The short answer is: gold-plated sterling silver.  Huh?  Well, a lot of gold jewelry that upwardly-mobile urban beauties wear is actually gold plated.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  A common metal to plate with gold is silver—a great way to save money.  Silver is a wonderful, sturdy metal, so having some gold on it really makes sense.  When you see a .925 or 925 stamped on gold jewelry, what you’re actually seeing is the jewelry code (hallmark) for the silver itself.

Common Variations to 925 on gold jewelry

Other hallmarks you may see on a gold-plated piece of jewelry include STG or STER, meaning, you guessed it, sterling silver. 

Another thing to look out for is 925 EP.  This means electro-plating, the sort of gold-plating that has been used on the piece.  It’s another way of alerting you to the use of plating—the piece isn’t pure gold.  Further, in case you hear a jeweler use the phrase “gold vermeil” this is exactly what they mean—gold-plated  sterling silver.

How Much is 925 Gold Worth?

One thing to remember about gold-plated jewelry is that it isn’t a scam. That is, unless the jeweler is trying to sell it to you at the price of solid gold.  That would be dishonest, and you should avoid that jeweler.  Yet, most jewelers are honest—and you can keep them honest now that you know what 925 on gold jewelry means. 

silver price by kg for the last 20 years

Thus, there’s a very real legit price—and a resale value—for 925 gold.  It basically hinges around the current value of the silver itself.  Whatever the silver is worth, that’s what the plated gold jewelry is worth.

And, what determines this?   Basically, it’s two things.  The first is the going scrap price for silver, the second the prevailing retail price for items made of sterling silver, such as silverware, musical instruments, and, yes, jewelry.

You can find the latest silver price on line.

Now, as to retail prices, they can be affected by the size, weight, and style of the item.  These day, necklaces tend to go for $7-$50, though of course, the inclusion of expensive gemstones will drive the price up.  Bracelets are valued at about $10-$70; rings $10-$100, and earrings, $13-$70.

What About 925 Italy, 925 Italy Gold or 925 Italian gold?

Well… it means the jewelry was made in Italy.

Should I Buy 925 Gold Jewelry?

Absolutely.  That’s like asking “should I buy gold-plated jewelry”? Of course you should.  Silver is a great metal, so 925 gold jewelry, with gold plating over the silver, is great.

What you shouldn’t do is pay the same price you’d pay for solid gold for 925 gold necklaces, bracelets, or rings.  You should understand the care for gold plating as well as the potential for the plating to wear off over time.  The money you save buying 925 gold—or gold vermeil —jewelry can help you save up for that one really nice piece of gold jewelry for a special occasion.

However, you should be aware, that unlike some other forms of jewelry, 925 gold jewelry


What Does 925 Mean on Jewelry?

It refers to the percentage of purity of the item, with 925 stamp being 92.5% It is a “hallmark,” attesting to quality.  The other 7.5% of the metal in the jewelry is an alloy of some kind, something like copper, brass, zinc, etc.

It isn’t a sign that anything is wrong with the jewelry—quite the contrary.  Ninety-two percent purity is great.  If you find it on gold, it simply means that it’s gold-plated, not solid gold.

Is 925 Gold Pawnable?

It is, since it’s sterling silver.  Some shops will pay the scrap rate for it, while some will try their hardest to get it from you for less.  You can use a tool like PawnGuru to find the best price.

Is Gold Marked 925 Worth Anything?

Of course it is.  The label 925 is not a defect.  On silver it’s a promise of great purity, and on gold it’s a sign that it is gold-plated, thus having the purity of silver.  However, if you’re going to look to sell 925 gold jewelry when you’re done with it, you’ll end up taking a loss, since you’ll be selling it basically as scrap silver.

How do you clean 925 gold?

First, trying gently rubbing it with a soft cloth; if needed, go to some warm, soapy water.  Just be sure not to use polishing cloths because this will cause damage.

Can Engagement Rings Be Made of 925 gold?

They sure can, and you’ll find quite a few of these engagement rings on sale. Solitaire with diamonds, cubic zirconia or moissanite. Gold-plated  rings are absolutely stunning, yet some folks might want to go with pure gold for such a big occasion, or to another sort of metal popular with engagement rings, such as palladium or platinum.