When it comes to jewelry, authenticity is essential when determining price and quality.
So if you are shopping for jewelry and see the marking 14K Italy, you might wonder what exactly this means.
Read through our guide to learn what 14K Italy jewelry is, whether or not it is real gold, and if it’s even from Italy.
RELATED: 750 Italy Jewelry Guide: What Does This Stamp Mean?
What is 14k Italy?
In short, 14K means that the piece of jewelry is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals.
By American standards, 14K gold is a fine piece of jewelry because Americans measure the amount of gold in jewelry by 24 parts.
Therefore, 24K is pure gold, with no additives. Any gold less than 10K is not permitted to carry a karat mark or be legally called gold in the United States.
However, throughout Europe, jewelers do not use the karat mark. Instead, they use a fineness mark, which quantifies gold content as a numeric proportion to a base metal. Therefore, 14K gold would be stamped as 585 in Europe.
So, “14K Italy” gold means that the jewelry is Italian-made gold with 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals.
Is 14k Italy Jewelry Good?
14K Italian gold is commonly used to make chain necklaces and other beautiful jewelry. Though it is not as pure as 24K gold or gold stamped with a fineness mark of 1000, it is still a valuable material and even more so when skillfully crafted.
Pure 24k gold is extremely delicate, so 14k is one of the most popular alternatives for making quality gold jewelry that can withstand everyday wear.
Aside from the karats, Italian-made jewelry is known for its time-tested techniques in craftsmanship.
Since the Roman Empire (or even longer), Italians have been known for crafting fine gold jewelry and passing their skills down through generations.
Is 14k Italy Gold Real?
14K Italy gold is just as genuine as other golds, but authentic jewelry is often stamped as 585 since it is made in Italy.
That said, some Italian manufacturers do create jewelry for USA and Canada using the 14k Italy stamp. However, a lot of 14k gold jewelry from Italy will be stamped 585 because Europe labels their jewelry differently.
Regardless, both the 14k Italy and 585 stamps are often forged, so it’s important to buy from a reputable dealer and perhaps even bring in an authenticator if you’re considering a luxury piece.
How to Tell if 14k Italy Gold Is Real?
To tell if it’s real or fake, 14K Italy gold should be fairly expensive. If it is marked for a cheaper price than expected, it’s probably fake.
You should also consider where or who you’re buying from. A reputable jewelry dealer wouldn’t sell fake Italian gold, but a small tourist market or a heavily discounted suspicious online store may.
Companies will also often label jewelry as gold-filled or gold-plated, which aren’t 100% gold.
Sometimes sellers will also use convincing words like “Italian gold,” but you’ll want to make sure it’s pure 14k gold rather than plated. Gold-filled or gold-plated pieces are cheaper, but won’t last as long as a genuine 14k piece.
Even if you see a 14k Italy or 585 stamp on your jewelry, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s real. Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of counterfeit jewelry out there.
Another tell-tale sign of a fake is the color. 14k gold is a bright yellow compared to other golds. However, held up to 24K gold or 18k gold, it will look paler.
14k is also a harder material than 18K or 24K gold because more metals are used in the mix. Any discoloration, such as green or black, will also be a sign of a fake. Pure 14k gold doesn’t change color, even after a long period of time.
If you’re not a jewelry expert, it’s hard to catch these little details – the best way to know for sure is to use an acid test. However, for best results, we recommend taking your jewelry to an expert. Any jewelry store will usually test your jewelry for free!
RELATED: 18 Best Online Jewelry Stores For Every Occasion
Overall, genuine 14K Italian gold is valuable, of great quality, and definitely worth adding to your jewelry collection. Just be aware of the standards when buying jewelry from Italy and make sure you’re not buying a fake.
If you’re still questioning whether or not your 14k Italy jewelry is real, it’s best to take it to an expert and let them inspect it for themselves.
UP NEXT: What Does a “925 Italy” Stamp Mean for Silver or Gold Jewelry?