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

Many lovers of gold jewelry are still unaware that these items are made of impure metals. The true amount of precious metal is indicated by samples.

It is generally accepted that USSR gold is bought from precious metal dealers much more than it is today. After all, it has been historically proven that Soviet jewelry is more resistant to the aggressive effects of acids.

Let's try to figure out how Soviet noble metals are better than modern ones. Let's find out which one alloy more reliable and beautiful.

What was the gold standard in Soviet times?

In 1922, during the formation of the USSR, the system of gold samplesdeveloped as early as 1798. At that time the calculation was based on the Russian pound, which included 96 spools.

583 gold hallmark
The famous Soviet standard - 583-proof gold

Since 1927 it lost its significance. It was adopted metric system. According to it, the assay shows the number of milligrams of noble metal in 1g of alloy per 1 kg. This calculation was borrowed from Europe.

Equal settlement with foreign countries allowed the Union to develop in the foreign market of noble metals.

To do this, the process of measuring the assay of gold for jewelry in the USSR was adjusted to generally accepted standards. Sample selection was small. The country wanted to adopt a uniform standard gold for all in the form of 583.

Read also
525 gold and silver hallmark: composition of metal alloys and range of shades, hallmark properties, application and cost of 1 gram

583 hallmark - the "gold standard" of Soviet times. History of appearance and composition of the gold standard in the Soviet Union

The 583 grade can be safely called the most famous in the USSR. Its appearance was connected with the formation of the metric system in 1927. Based on the presence of 58.3% of gold in it, it was called "583". The remaining 41.7% of composition is due to ligatures. Metals such as copper, palladium and silver in their own way affected and modified the metal in color and strength.

To maintain quality control of jewelry in the early 70's was approved by GOST on their percentage in the composition.

Gold earrings
Vintage Earrings

Table. The percentage of foreign metal impurities according to GOST

MetalForeign metal content
Au (gold)58.3%
Ag (silver)33.4%
Cu (copper)8.3%

A small amount of copper gives the metal a pleasant reddish glow. But if it is too much, the metal will become brittle, because copper is soft.

USSR gold jewelry
Ring and earrings in old Soviet gold

Precious metal assays in the USSR

Let's take a closer look at all the Soviet gold samples.

10009624Pure silver, gold, platinum
999,9Techmetals, trading platinum and silver
98094The most precious things in gold
9589223High-quality gold in some countries
950Items in platinum
9168822High-grade silver objects
900Gold and silver bullion, coins
975Silver Items
8758421Household silver objects
800Gold and silver household objects
7507218The assay of world significance for valuable gold standards
5835614For cheap gold jewelry.
5004812For inexpensive gold jewelry and silver coins of "royal minting.
37536The most inexpensive gold items
USSR gold assay
USSR gold earrings

Changes in stamps on gold items by year

In Russia, the practice of marking valuable metals began several centuries ago.

  • 1899 - the stamp depicted the profile of a woman's face turned to the left. It was stamped with the assay number and the initials of the county.
  • 1908 - it is slightly modified, the profile of the woman turned to the right.
  • 1927 - the mark on the gold of the USSR acquired a completely different look - the head of a working man with the image of the hammer in the foreground. This corresponded to the political situation of those times.
  • 1958 - five-pointed star with sickle and hammer inside.
  • Until 1965, the star was convex, then it acquired a flat shape. This image existed until 1994, when it was replaced by the profile of a girl with a kokoshnik on her head.
Read also
Gold assay 583: history of gold from the USSR with a star, composition, properties, the secret of popularity and disappearance, the cost of 1 gram today and use today
Gold earrings
USSR gold earrings

The Exceptional Quality of Soviet Gold: Myth or Truth

In the times of Tsarist Russia and the Soviets, all jewelry businesses and retail outlets were owned by the state, and it was impossible to see counterfeit jewelry on the shelves.

The maximum permissible deviation could be +/- 5 units of the assay declared on the piece. But even now the jewelry is made with the same norms of deviations.

Soviet products were notable for their solidity. Rings did not bend from heavy squeezing, chains did not stretch from rough handling. There was no hollow jewelry, but the cost was also appropriate. Most of today's items are made with the consumer in mind - inexpensive bracelets, earrings, and other jewelry quickly broke down because of the thin materials. Hence the origin of the myth about the quality of Soviet gold.

Turkish gold and demand for domestic jewelry

30-40 years ago, the Soviet jewelry market was invaded by Turkish 585-proof jewelry. The poor quality of the jewelry purchased caused a great deal of negative publicity. This is not surprising, because Turkish gold was made with foil. Jewelry was deteriorating before their eyes, deforming and completely falling apart from minor mechanical impact.

The same misfortune befell the gems that were imported from Turkey.

Countless complaints about counterfeit products prompted a ban on their importation by 2000.

Turkish Gold Jewelry
Turkish Gold Jewelry

A little later, storefronts filled up again the gold of the Russian production. To maintain the quality of manufactured products, GOST 6835-2002 of August 1, 2002 was approved.

Today, the most popular Russian assay approved by this GOST is the 585th. It meets all foreign standards.

Features of inlaid jewelry with natural stones and cheap crystals

Inlay is a type of jewelry technique, when the surface of the product is decorated by embedding various elements.

Various gemstones have been used as such an element at all times. The diamond has always been especially popular. The properties of this stone give luster to the piece, allowing it to shimmer in different colors in the sun.

Read also
24 karat gold - how much is it in grams and price in rubles: carat system of gold purity, how much is it in tests, composition, properties of the metal

Using real diamonds for inlaying can be expensive.

For the less expensive jewelry, synthetic stones are used, but their appearance is not much inferior to that of natural diamonds.

Ligature percentage assignment to the 583 hue

The notion of dependence colors of the gold commodity from the amount of other metals used in it has developed thanks to USSR.

583 gold
583 gold rings

Back then, the 585 jewelry had a red hue, the 750 had a yellow hue, and the 375 had a pink hue.

As we have already said, the color of a precious metal is affected by the percentage of other metals in the piece. Let us look at the table of color variations on the example of the 583.


Sample 583 in the modern world: how it is valued by jewelers and pawnshops

A few decades later, the old 583 gold hallmark has fallen from the first positions of popularity of precious metals. Nowadays, there are less and less disputes over the comparison between 585 and 583 hallmarks. However, the price of 585 is ahead of its competitor by several hundred roubles per gram.

Foreign jewelers speak negatively about the 583. However, their negative attitude is not true. The 583th hallmark of gold in the USSR, if properly maintained, does not lose its beauty because it possesses it:

  • a glow that doesn't go away for years;
  • bulky and reliable to avoid damage;
  • resistance to corrosion.
Golden Ring
585 Gold Engagement Ring

Tips for taking care of Soviet gold

Because of the gold content ligaturesIt often darkens during use. It is especially active when in constant contact with human skin and oxygen. To prevent such changes, it is necessary to learn how to properly care for them.

  • Stir 250ml. of soap solution with five drops of ammonia;
  • Dip the product in it, leave it for twenty minutes;
  • We take it and wash it with room-temperature water temperatures;
  • Then it is enough to wipe the jewelry with a rag or non-hard toothbrush until it shines.

Do not use household detergents when cleaning.

They can contain alkalis and acids that disturb the appearance of precious metals.

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
Tips for taking care of Soviet gold
Soviet jewelry


My great-grandmother and great-grandfather inherited their former wedding rings from my sister and me. I was lucky enough to get the bigger one! So, when I was going to get married, my fiancé and I decided to make our rings according to a picture I found on the Internet. We gathered all the unnecessary gold at home, including old rings. And the craftsman made two of our rings from one of our great-grandfather's, he didn't need the rest!

Maria P., Moscow
Alice T., Ivanovo

I decided to say goodbye to the old gold I did not need (there was one earring, a loose crown), took them to the pawnshop. The fence said that such a metal is cheaper than modern. I will try to go to another salon.

I lost my old gold chain, which I managed to buy back in Soviet times. I still can't find something suitable for me. Modern products seem too thin and fragile. And thick chains like they used to cost like a car.

Valentina P., Donetsk

Video: Soviet gold: the real value of Soviet gold

Jeweler's comment

Molokanov N.M.
Molokanov N.M.
Jeweler, experience in jewelry manufacturing 26 years.
The difficulty of working with gold items now is their brittleness. Soviet items can be easier to sell to connoisseurs of antiques. Old jewelry is characterized by durability, a lot of pure gold, I like to work with them.
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