Gold jewelry and items have been marked for centuries. You can make an argument that the earliest form of markings are ancient coins, since the government was in a sense putting its stamp of approval on the metal. Over the years many countries have used imagery of animals, plants and even buildings to tell the consumer who struck the gold and what the purity is.
Today the purity of gold is represented either by percentages or by karats. Both systems are measured in karats, but the numbering systems are different.
The first thing to know is that pure gold is 24 karats. After that it is a matter of math to find out the fraction. For example, a common karat weight in the US is 14k. To see the equivalent in fractions you simple take 14 and divide by 24 to get .58 (or 58%). 18 karat is 18/24 which equals .75.Some times the markings will be 18k and sometimes .750. The same is true for every date.
We hope this helps you. Old Pueblo Coin are gold and silver buyers in Tucson, Az. We are happy to pass along years of knowledge so that you are better informed on the ins and outs of gold and silver buying. Check back again soon!