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How do I know if my jewellery is real silver or gold?

When you own jewellery that is created from real gold and silver, you have a value based on the jewellery piece as well as the gold/silver consistency. Gold and silver has a value based on purity and weight, so once a piece of jewellery breaks or is out of style, you can sell it based on the value of the metal it is created from. But how do you know if your pieces are created from real gold or silver? Many times, individuals inherit jewellery or are gifted pieces and may not know if they are real or fake. Below is a short guide to help you determine if your pieces are real or fake.

Looking for Markings

To begin, you will need to check each jewellery piece for markings. Silver and gold jewellery are marked in specific places based on what type of piece it is. This marking will tell you the purity used in the piece. Rings are marked on the inside of the shank while a chain or bracelet will be marked on the tag or clasp. A pendant will be marked on the bail. This is the part of the piece that the chain goes through or the marking will be on the back of this piece. Earrings will have markings on the post or back of the earring.

When you look at each piece you will be searching for an indicator of a marking. In older pieces, these marks can be hard to find. It can take a highly trained eye to detect what the marking means. You most likely will need a magnifying glass, jeweler’s loupe and quality lighting in order to see what the marking is on each piece.


In most cases, 10k gold and above will have the highest value. You want to seek out pieces that have this marking. Assay markings can have a marking such as 10k or 417, which means the piece has gold value. Look for the following markings when reviewing gold pieces:










For silver items, high quality pieces will be marked differently than gold. A top quality specimen will have a stamp that reads ‘quality’ or ‘fineness’. The mark indicates the precious metal content of the piece. This marking must also be accompanied by the mark of the maker or a registered trademark. Silver jewellery in Kitchener will have the following markings:


Sterling Silver




English hallmark of lion

If your pieces do not have any assay markings, they can still be appraised to see if they are genuine items. A refiner will be able to look at your pieces and tell if they are real and how much they are worth.