Markings on a ring that indicate "14k HGE" mean the ring contains 14-karat gold in "heavy gold electroplate," which indicates that the gold is not pure or solid gold but is a covering for some other metal. Normally, this layer of gold has a thickness between 7 and 100 millionths of an inch. Gold that is not marked with HGE can be tested electronically to discover its purity.Continue Reading
Gold electroplate is normally 10 millionths of an inch thick, and the layer wears off easily over time. This type of jewelry looks tarnished once the base metal is exposed. Hannon Jewelers explains that heavy gold electroplate reaches a maximum thickness of 100 millionths of an inch on top of base metal.
Rings electroplated with gold are not worth much to businesses that buy scrap, according to MintProducts. Rings marked "gold plated" or "gold filled" are the same as those that use heavy gold electroplate.
Electroplating is a process by which metals are bathed in a solution of the metal that covers the core object. The core metal is exposed to an electrical current, and the covering metal falls out of solution to gather around the electrolyzed core. The longer the core metal stays in the bath of gold ions, the thicker the gold covering gets.Learn more about Rings
The markings inside a ring shank indicate the type of metal, the karat weights or the name of the manufacturer, designer or jeweler. The most common stamp is the karat weight of the metal.Full Answer >
The stamp inside a ring, bracelet or other piece of jewelry is used by the manufacturer to indicate the manufacturer's or designer's name, the metal purity and type. Called hallmarks or assay marks, there are a very large number but in terms of valuation, the most important deal with metal type and purity.Full Answer >
It is possible to have a gold ring electroplated with platinum. In this process, the gold ring is dipped into a solution containing a dissolved ion of platinum. An electrical current is applied, causing the platinum ion to attach to the gold ring in a very thin coating.Full Answer >
There are a few reasons why a gold ring sometimes leaves a dark stain on the finger, but most of these reasons involve chemical reactions. Chemicals, alloys and acid both from the jewelry and the wearer, can react in different ways to leave a dark stain, which is often green or black on the fingers.Full Answer >