Gold assay 555 and 5S5: gold marking, stamping methods and hypotheses of the unusual assay

Before you buy precious metal, you should study its external signs. The presence of a stamp is a must. This will mean that the piece of jewelry complies with the metal purity rating system. Standard Several types of samples have been identified. In each one, the amount of pure gold is coded. Among the well-known designations (585, 750, etc.) you can find some not so common ones.

There is a 555 hallmark, but not many people know what is encrypted in it. Theoretically, it could be a mark of purity of the precious metal, but not everything is so unambiguous. We need to find out what kind of alloys according to GOST, and whether the variant in question belongs to them.

555 proof - what kind of metal

Among the existing types of samples, the 555 variety is absent. It is necessary to understand why then it occurs, and whether it is worth buying jewelry with such a designation. Along with this hallmark, another variety is used - hallmark 5S5. It does not meet the requirements for the marking of precious metals at all.

In fact, the hallmark 555, as well as its counterpart 5S5, are not included in the normative documentation that defines the order of hallmarking gold items. But that doesn't mean that the jewelry is worthless. You need to learn more about the properties of the metal that is assayed in this way.

555 gold ring
Gold ring with gemstones

All items with more than 30% gold content must be branded accordingly. This is a numerical mark confirming that the jewelry includes some portion of the noble metal.

The product may contain a stigma that does not meet the requirements of GOST, but its cost will be lower than that of certified products.

555 gold hallmark: what information is the mark on gold, what does the gold hallmark mean?

If you're wondering what 5S5 is for a hallmark on a ring or other piece of jewelry, you need to find out what the mark is. The mark is of two kinds:

  • the name plate is the brand of the manufacturer;
  • Sample - contains an indication of the purity of the precious metal.
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525 gold and silver hallmark: composition of metal alloys and range of shades, hallmark properties, application and cost of 1 gram

If we are talking about alloy 555, it means that 1,000 grams contain 555 grams of gold. The rest are additives (ligatures), which are a combination of alloys of precious and non-precious metals. The necessity of using additives is due to the fact that pure gold is too soft, easily deformed even by hand. By introducing ligatures the properties of the alloy are improved many times over.

Gold grades and gold color
Gold bars

4 alloy purity evaluation systems

There have been several ways of determining the amount of precious metal in a piece of jewelry around the world at different times:

  • spool: One of the oldest systems for assessing the purity of precious metals, based on the ratio of the amount of gold to fractions of a pound, which corresponds to 96 gold pieces, this method is no longer used, it was relevant in the days of the Russian Empire;
  • metric: This is a modern system, it implies the need to determine the amount of precious metal in 1000 weight parts (grams), if we consider as an example 555 or 5S5 grade of gold, in this case the number means that in 1000 g of alloy contains 555 grams of precious metal;
  • lot: this is an obsolete method, which was used in Germany until 1888, when there was a transition to the metric system of evaluating the purity of the alloy, based on the lot - weight and monetary unit, which contains 16 lots;
  • Carat: used partly in Europe, but also in the U.S., Canada, China, suggests the need to determine the amount of precious metal in 24 carats.

Gold assay in Russia according to GOST

The content of impurities and precious metal in the alloy composition is regulated by the normative document - GOST 30649-99. Due to compliance with the requirements for noble metals, it is possible to increase the quality of products made of them.

This is also a way to bring jewelry and other gold products, to the same characteristics to classify them by size, composition, properties, applications.

Authority responsible for gold assaying in the Russian Federation

The function of determining the purity of a precious metal is performed by the Federal Assay Office. At the local level, it is the responsibility of the territorial authorities, as well as the structural subdivisions. The hallmarking requires analysis and sampling.

Read also
950 proof: the same grade of gold, silver and platinum, the meaning of the purity of the metal, properties and active use in the years of the Soviet Union
Precious metal assay table
Precious metal assays

Methods of branding

In the past, the jewelry was marked with a convex hallmark. Later, its appearance was changed, as well as the way it was applied. Today technology is used:

  • impact method: was popular earlier, based on the mechanical action on the metal with a self-made impact mark;
  • electroerosion (electrospark method): this option has many advantages, they say there is no risk of severe deformation of the metal, creating areas of concentration of internal stress, as a result, you get a mark of depth from 0.1 to 1 mm, with the best characteristics is the sample, made on a hot, color metaland also when applying using the press;
  • laser engraving: the technology ensures high precision of execution, which allows it to be used for making micro marks, the laser beam is considered the thinnest tool, it is used to make marks up to 1 mm in size, this method is widespread today, in addition, there is another factor indicating the broad possibilities of the laser - non-contact execution.
Sample 5s5: different hypotheses of formation
Jewelry branding

Sample 5S5: different hypotheses of formation

The cost of products marked with the 5S5 designation is often lower than that of certified products offered in stores. There are various reasons for this feature:

  • erased by old age, the number in 585 proofIf the composition of the metal with the designation 5S5 or 555 fully corresponds to the given alloy, this means that it contains 585 g of gold, respectively, the changed number is a consequence of abrasion of the material, for example, under regular mechanical stress;
  • the result of electrosparking through a stencil: as you wear it, there are traces of use, for example, sometimes white metal becomes yellowWhen the surface layer rubs off, just as a sample made in an insufficiently reliable way loses its outline and depth over time (for example, when regularly self-sanding with unsuitable methods);
  • 5S5 is a fraud: such a combination of numbers and letters distantly resembles the 585 designation, but if the hallmark is applied in a shallow depth or is small in size, as well as if it is located in a complex configuration, it is hardly possible to see it without a magnifying glass, which is exactly what dishonest sellers count on. In order to avoid purchasing a low-quality piece, it is recommended to study the appearance of jewelry more carefully; do not rely completely on the advice of a jewelry store employee;
  • 5S5 - quality mark from the assay office: many people mistakenly think that the hallmark containing the letter is a special stamp put by a supervisory body, thus determining the quality of the jewelry; in fact, one should look for other reasons for this designation, as the state body (Federal Assay Office) places standard seals on all gold items according to their precious metal content.
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USSR gold hallmarks: the history of the 583 Soviet gold hallmark, the reasons for its popularity and the myth of its high quality in jewelry
5s5 proof gold
5s5 gold hallmark on the ring

Ways to check the authenticity of gold 5S5 and buy the original hallmark 585

If there are suspicions that the seller is unscrupulous or the goods are of poor quality, it is better to immediately go to one of the stores of a large jewelry chain, where all products are certified. However, there are ways to make sure that gold articles good quality:

  • when gold falls, you can hear a ringing sound that resembles a crystal;
  • The weight of the jewelry is substantial even in the absence of stone inserts, by comparison, silver and costume jewelry are lightweight;
  • if the product is already purchased, you can drop acid (nitric acid), the appearance of gold Alloy 585 will not change the properties;
  • application of a lapis pencil - nothing will happen in contact with gold, but the product of poor quality will darken in this area.
Ways to check the authenticity of gold 5s5 and buy the original hallmark 585
Checking gold

The properties and a wide range of jewelry in gold 585

Jewelry marked with the 585 designation is the gold standard. It is the most common marking among the others, which is why fakes are quite common. Jewelry containing 58.5% of gold has different properties:

  • solids;
  • rugged;
  • with high fusibility;
  • there are different shades, which is determined by the ratio of ligatures.

Jewelry 585 are represented by a wide range of products of different types, shapes and complexity of design. It is possible to purchase:

  • rings;
  • bracelets;
  • pendants;
  • chains;
  • necklace;
  • earrings, etc.
Gold Jewelry Set
Gold Jewelry

555 gold price per gram and where to buy profitably

The price of all other metals (alloys of different composition) is determined by the exchange rate of the Central Bank. And the price changes every day. If you plan to buy 585 jewelry, you need to keep track of changes 1 gram pure gold:

Alloy 999 per 1 gram at the Central Bank, rubles.Market value, rubles.Scrap, rub.Jewelry stores, rub.

We need to know how much it costs to 585 metalFor this purpose it is necessary to perform simple calculations:

Gold 999 on CB x 0,585 = 2,486 rubles.

You can buy quality jewelry in large chains of jewelry stores. In addition, in pawnshops can also find a suitable piece of jewelry 585, but it will cost much less. Similar items have already been used, so the price is lower. This is a more reliable way to buy jewelry than, for example, if you go to a pawn shop.

Read also
What gold is better than 585 or 583: the emergence of 583 and change to a 585, the main advantages and differences

Video: 5S5 gold, test methods


I couldn't look at the sample when I bought it. I found a piece of jewelry at a pawn shop that I liked. Of course, the ring was used, but in appearance I would not say that someone had worn it. I was offered a magnifying glass, which was the only way I could be sure it was really 585 gold and not a fake with a letter designation.

Valentina P., Donetsk
Alice T., Ivanovo

Once I fell for a fraudulent scheme: I bought a ring in the jewelry department, I did not study the branding, I just noticed that it was there. But I noticed for myself that there was a low figure eight in the center of the 585 hallmark. When the ring turned black, I realized that I was cheated, but it was too late to find the cheaters, they were gone. I looked at the sample, and it was written 5S5.

I thought I had seen everything, but I didn't expect to find a 5S5 sample in a large enough store. Something was explained to me about the methods of applying the proof, but the ring was then removed from the counter. Of course, I didn't believe it, which was confirmed when the item disappeared from sale.

Vasily P, Voronezh

Jeweler's comment

Molokanov N.M.
Molokanov N.M.
Jeweler, experience in jewelry manufacturing 26 years.
If you find a 555 hallmark on your jewelry, do not immediately consider it a fake. Yes, the metric system does not provide for such a hallmark, but there are always different factors to consider. I would recommend checking the composition of the metal with a jeweler. If it turns out that the piece does contain enough gold, you can ignore the specific branding. Otherwise, I would go to the place where the jewelry was purchased for clarification.
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