A 14K ring that is stamped .585 indicates that 58.5 percent of the ring's content is pure gold. According to Diamond Jewelers, the remaining 41.5 percent is a metal alloy, which is a stronger metal mixed with the gold to provide support for gems, resist bending and limit scratching.
Jewelry stamped 14 karat means that 14 out of 24 parts are pure gold. Until 1981, it was acceptable to round up 13.5 karat gold and sell it as 14K. However, since then only 14K gold is considered standard and is expressed as 14K gold plumb. Plumb is a technical term used by jewelers when assaying pieces, especially those found at estate sales, according to BlueRidgeNow.com.