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What's Gold Karat Plumb?


Often when you’re looking at Stamps or Markings Inside of Rings and other Jewelry, you’ll see the Letters “KP“, as in 14KP, or 18KP.

What does this KP Mean?

KP Means “Karat Plumb”.

Now we all know that “Karat” means the Purity of the Gold.

We also know that 10k, 14k, 18k are NOT Pure Gold (Pure Gold is 24k).

So these Common Gold Mixtures found on the Market Today are Blended with other Alloys to make the Gold Stronger (Since Pure Gold is Too Soft for Jewelry).

14k Gold (also written as .585) is made up of 58.5% Gold, 25% Silver, and 17% Copper.

So the K, or Karat, means that’s the Amount of Gold that’s Supposed to be in the Piece of Jewelry.

So What about the Plumb?

Plumb means “TRUE”.

It comes from the French Word “Plum” or “Plombe“, and can also mean “Completely“, “Weight“, or even “Exact“.

So now the Real Meaning of Plumb becomes clear…

It means that the Gold Stated is Correct. It’s at least the amount Stamped on the Item, or Greater (Never Less).

It’s TRUE Gold

(Not Rounded Up, or Close toIT IS AT LEAST THAT OR MORE!)

For you see, many other Countries in the World Produce Different Blends of Gold and use Different Alloys and Mixtures. They may even Sell Gold that’s 7K, 8K, or even 9K Gold.

And even if they do Stamp an Item as 10K, that doesn’t always mean that the Gold is 41.7% (Or whatever Gold you’re Buying). Oh No!

It may be somewhere in the Ballpark, but not Exact.

In the U.S.A., if it’s under 10K Gold, then it Legally can’t be Sold as Gold.

Gold Guarantee

So to Ensure and Guarantee that the Item you’re Buying is GOLD (the Stamp that’s Shown), make sure you’re Buying Plumb Gold.

Look to see if it’s Stamped “KP”

14KP is at least 14 Parts Gold or More.

18KP is at least 18 Parts Gold or More.

It’s Important to Know for Sure!

And if you truly want to be Positive that an Item is “True” to the Mark, then Buy yourself an Acid Testing Kit, and within a Few Seconds you’ll be able to See if the Gold you Bought, is Indeed the Gold you Paid for.

And that’s Sounds Pretty PLUMB to me!

Cheers! :)

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Gold Acid Test Kit Watch Tool Repair Kit
Ring Adjusters EMT Emergency Ring Cutter
10x Jewelers Loupe Jewelers Microscope

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23 Comments on WHAT’S KARAT PLUMB?

  1. It would seem unlikely at this point in time to find new jewelry in jewelers’ cases with the “P” or “Plumb” marking.
    That came about with the tightening of the National Gold and Silver Marking Act requirements, which was signed into law in 1976, and took actual effect on October 1, 1981. This revision required that, as you mentioned, gold marked a specific carat fineness must be at least that level of gold fineness, if not a bit more, but never less. The “P” marking was applied for a time in all new production pieces which met the new standard, to assure the public they were getting precisely what they paid for, and that the piece met the new standard.
    After a time, perhaps a couple of years however (sources vary), since all new jewelry met the requirements, it was no longer necessary to mark everything with the extra “P” in the hallmark.
    I have seen many older pieces carry this marking, and it does provide a sure way of dating a piece, but haven’t seen new pieces for sale, or much of anything made after 1990, so marked.
    It would be quite difficult now days to walk into a jewelry store and expect to find anything in their cases with this marking.

  2. I have a necklace with just KP stamped on latch. Pawn shop said it wasnt gold. What gives? The necklace looks identical to ones I’ve looked up. Any help

    • More than likely the clasp may be gold, but the rest of the necklace isn’t. I actually ran into this exact scenario during Christmas. Take it to a different jewelry store and have them double check, just in case. :) -Richard

  3. Rachle Vessey // May 17, 2018 at 10:08 am // Reply

    I found a small delicate bracelet with hearts. On the clasp is marked 10K on one side. On the other side are the initials or. Can you tell me what that stands for?

  4. could a stamp of 14kp mean gold plated

  5. I brought a 14 KP ring with diamonds on the top from a friend today does this mean this ring is real gold.

  6. Laura Reynolds // March 9, 2019 at 6:30 pm // Reply

    I have a rather sizeable money clip that us marked 15KP(has a hallmark between the K and P). Does this seem legitimate to you? I gotthe item about25 years ago in a bag of broken costume jewelry for free, and have wondered about it off and on. Is there an email address that I can send a photo of the markings. and item to get a quick, dirty opinion before I seek a better assessment?

  7. I bought a 10kp waterfall ring any ideas on a value about 24 diamonds not missing any

  8. I inherited a gold cross. 18kp is stamped on the back. Also stamped is what looks like 4mo. Was Kp stamp used befor the 1970s? I’m trying to date this and figure out its history.

  9. Lourdesito Rivera // June 5, 2019 at 3:17 pm // Reply

    I bought a chain 18k p is this pawnable

  10. Lourdesito Rivera // June 7, 2019 at 12:22 pm // Reply

    I bought men’s ring 2carat diamond 10k gold how much the price of it in US dollars?

  11. Carole Holt lt // August 10, 2019 at 10:41 am // Reply

    I have just purchased a small bangle with hallmark 18KP engraved inside.
    It has a sideways S patterndo you know if this is of any value?
    Thank you

  12. Hi I have a ring with a larger blue Sapphire
    Stone setting and metal content appears to be pewter and claw like prones. Its
    Hallmarks is a, c with circle around it
    Followed by V/T S.E. KP M when I wear it. It draws much attention. Very beautiful ring. I bought it from a local online selling service very cheap. Can you tell me anything about the hallmark. I’ve been searching the Hallmark out for a long time

  13. Lourdesito Rivera // September 2, 2019 at 1:28 pm // Reply

    Hello! I bought a necklace with 18kp stamped on the lock of the necklace, is it panwnable?

  14. “14k Gold (also written as .585) is made up of 58.5% Gold, 25% Silver, and 17% Copper”

    This wasn’t always the standard. My great-grandfather’s 14k yellow-gold watch chain from 1918 is 14k but is very coppery looking. The 14k chains that I have from the 1980s have only a very slight copper hue. The modern 14k that I buy from eBay wholesalers has no copper hue whatsoever.

    • Rose gold doesn’t follow the same guidelines that yellow gold does, so rose/pink gold would have more copper in it. There’s also green gold which has a higher percentage of silver. Rose gold was very popular in the mid-late Victorian period through the 1920’s

  15. We have a flatware set marked 24KP which was purchased in Saudi Arabia approximately 45 years ago. What are the chances it is solid gold?

  16. Anna Arrowood // October 5, 2020 at 4:37 am // Reply

    Does sk9 (platinaire) guarantee that the diamond is real?

  17. i have a bangle hallmark is KP its almost 6yrs not faded it is real gold or not?

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