The stamp "417 Italy" on a piece of gold jewelry means that its purity is 10 karat gold and its origin is Italian. The "417" also indicates that it is 41.7 percent gold.
Italian-made gold jewelry has the reputation of being the finest and most elegant. Gold jewelry with these markings doesn't necessarily always mean that it was made in Italy. It can also mean that the piece was made by an Italian system and machinery, which is known for great quality.
The pureness of the gold is expressed in percentages. The value stamps applied to the jewelry vary throughout the world. Jewelry made in Europe has a three digit number, such as "999," which indicates that the gold piece is 99.9 percent pure. However, in most parts of America, this value is shown as "24K," which means that the piece is 24 karat gold.
Gold jewelry is composed of a percentage of other metals, mostly alloys, and a percentage of gold. Gold is soft as opposed to all other metals, which are hard. Pieces with a higher percentage of gold purity are softer and have a more intense yellow color. Because it is so soft 24 karat gold is rarely used for jewelry because it is very soft.