What Does 825 Mean on Jewelry?

We are an affiliate
We hope you love the featured products! Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page, at no extra cost for the buyer. Thank you if you use our links, we really appreciate it!

The 825 mark on a gold ring means that the piece has 825 in 1000 parts gold content in its composition. This means that 82.5% of the jewelry piece’s total weight comes from real gold.

Pure gold is too soft in its natural form to become jewelry.

It lacks the durability to endure everyday wear and tear.

That’s why goldsmiths take fine gold and make it into alloys with other metals.

The latter part is mostly cheaper base metals like copper, zinc or nickel. Thanks to this addition, gold becomes stronger and more fit to become a jewelry material.

Gold hallmarks may include a finesse value, like 825, and, sometimes, the identity of the manufacturer. Unfortunately, this is not a mandatory practice.

But, if your piece has a hallmark showing the identity, you may want to track the date and producer at Gold Hallmark Identification Wizard.

This journey also modify the color. The original yellow gold changes slowly.

In the presence of copper, it becomes more rosy pink, thus the name rose gold.

When gold is mixed with white metals like zinc, nickel, silver or palladium, it gets close to a silvery white color, hence the name white gold.

Click on the photo to check on Amazon

 

What are the karats in gold?

The unit of gold purity is karat.

1 karat indicates 1/24th of the pieces weight.

12 karat or 12k gold ring has 12/24 of its weight from yellow gold.

In other words, it has 50% gold purity.

If we express it in thousands, 500 in 1000 parts come from gold.

This karatage system is used for yellow gold, and also, rose gold and white gold.

Click on the photo to check on Amazon

 

What gold karat is the best for jewelry?

There isn’t a simple answer to this question.

Why? Because with different karat values, there are both pros and cons.

Let’s check them together.

The most common gold karats are 10k, 14k or 18k.

Pure gold is 24k. This is the highest karat value, but it is not used because of its softness.

24k gold is used in gold coins and gold bullion bars held as reserve at central banks.

However, you will find that there is 24k gold jewelry on the market. These are made for a specific reason: to carry along wealth from far away places.

You may also encounter different karat gold pieces like 9k, 15k or 19k. These are more exotic versions of jewelry. At the end of the day… it’s the producer’s choice.

In the table below, you can check gold karat values with their corresponding percentage values.

Gold Karatage Table
Karatage Karat stamp Gold parts Percentage Finesse
10Karat 10K 10 / 24 41.7 417
14 Karat 14K 14 / 24 58.3 583
18 Karat 18K 18 / 24 75 750
22 Karat 22K 22 / 24 91.7 917
24 Karat 24K 24 / 24 100 999

Higher karat values show higher gold percentages.

So, the higher, the better, right? Well, not exactly.

We saw that fine gold was too soft for jewelry.

Had we used 24k for jewelry, it would not have lasted long.

Your ring would easily lose its shape.

Your gold bracelet will get scratched from friction with harder objects.

Simply put, pure gold is not a piece of jewelry that can serve you a long time as day 1.

So, we need and should want lower karats like 14k or 18k.

Click on the photo to check on Amazon

As the karat value decreases, gold purity and the cost of gold decreases.

14k gold pieces are more affordable metal jewelry than 18k items.

These have 58.3% and 75% gold content in their composition, respectively.

As the karat value decreases, the added metal part increases.

This will help create harder jewelry with increased durability.

For example, a 10k gold ring is more durable than an 18k one.

Lastly, the added metal will change color.

It will slowly drift from reddish yellow from its natural state towards the colors of the rest.

You can compare different karat gold rings with alternative metals like platinum rings, palladium rings in the photo below.

What is 825 gold worth?

As we saw above, your 825 gold chain is made of real gold.

It is the precious yellow metal everyone loves.

You can easily calculate the value of gold in your jewelry.

This calculation will help you find the market price of only the gold part in your piece.

We exclude any jeweler fee, extraction cost or losses in practice, for the sake of simplicity.

Calculate gold value in jewelry step by step
  • Step 1. Take the weight in ounces of your piece
  • Step 2. Multiply it with 0.825 and find pure gold weight in the item
  • Step 3. Find the trading price of gold on the market at goldprice.org
  • Step 4. Multiply this price with the ounce weight to reach the final value

Example:

  1. Say, your jewelry is 0.74 oz.
  2. The gold part is 0.74 * 0.825 = 0.6105 oz
  3. Say, gold is trading at $2000 per ounce.
  4. Your jewelry has 0.6105 * 2000 = $1,221 worth of gold in its composition.

Click on the photo to check on Amazon

What does 825 Italy mean on a silver necklace?

Just like yellow gold jewelry, white gold pieces can also carry the mark 825.

But, what about if it is not white gold, but silver?

White gold and silver jewelry have close colors.

Silver pieces can have the 825 mark on the inside just like gold items.

The meaning is the same: 825 parts in 1000 pieces of its weight comes from silver.

Or in percentage terms, it has 82.5% silver content in its composition.

Akin to gold, pure silver is too soft for jewelry.

Thus, silver alloys are used for silverware and jewelry.

The most popular silver alloy used in bling is sterling silver, aka 925 silver.

It is 92.5% pure silver with the rest coming from other metals.

These are often copper and similar base metals added to increase hardness for longer use.

825 and 925 silver share similar properties like shine and tarnish.

Tarnish is the black spots forming on the surface of silver pieces. These result from chemical reactions between the metal and sulfur dioxide and oxygen.

Luckily, there are commercial and homemade solutions to get rid of tarnish.

If you’d like your silver without the tarnish and all the cleaning it will demand, check argentium silver.

You may consider it a superior version of sterling silver, which has increased durability, shine minus the tarnish.

Argentium silver achieves this thanks to germanium in its composition.

Check out more in this post on the differences between sterling silver and argentium silver.

Click on the photo to check on Amazon

Conclusion

Now, you’ve got the answer to “What does 825 mean on a ring?”.

It shows the finesse in thousand parts.

If it’s gold, it has 825 parts in 1000 gold in the mix.

In percentage, it is 82.5% pure gold.

Similarly, if it is silver, it has 825 in 1000 parts silver.

Yet, this should not be mistaken for sterling silver, a very popular alloy used in jewelry.

Sterling silver has 92.5% pure silver in its composition. They are different materials and should be treated separately.

Whether, your jewelry is gold or silver, in both case, it means that it is made of precious metal.

It has value on the market that you can easily calculate.

We gave an example that you can easily replicate for your particular situation.

For the case of 825 silver, it is one of the silver alloys used in jewelry like 850 silver, sterling and argentium. These have increasing silver percentages, respectively.

Sterling is the most common one with 92.5% purity. Argentium is richer in silver and offers a tarnish-free shine.