"687 V" on a gold bracelet?
February 1, 2010 6:23 PM   Subscribe

My mother has recently come across a 14kt gold bracelet with "687 V" inscribed on it. Anyone have any ideas what that means?
posted by AdamOddo to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (8 answers total)
Is the V stylized in any way (looks different from the numbers, has serifs, is imposed ontop of another item)? Is it etched into the gold or is it pressed into it (i.e. through a diecut or a mold)?
posted by julen at 6:34 PM on February 1, 2010

Three more questions:

Is it actually marked as 14K?
Does it say 687 or 667?
Does the gold look dark or a little tarnished?
posted by julen at 6:50 PM on February 1, 2010

It sounds like a measure of purity on the Millesimal fineness scale. The "V" is likely a maker's mark.
posted by specialagentwebb at 7:48 PM on February 1, 2010

The V could be a maker's mark. That is why I asked about the letter's decoration or appearing different from the numbers. However, it could also be marking the piece as being vermeil (gold over sterling silver).

If it does say 667 as opposed to 687, then it is a good possibility that the gold is 16K and not 14K.

Another option is that 667 V was engraved in there for other reasons (i.e. an inscription that meant something to the original owner or maker that isn't obvious.)

Without seeing the bracelet (how ornate is it? what quality is the work), it's hard to narrow down on what it could mean.
posted by julen at 5:41 AM on February 2, 2010

Response by poster: I tried taking some shots of the bracelet with my webcam but unfortunately the low quality of the images obscures any details.

Anyways, on closer inspection it was stamped "687 M", rather than "687 V" as originally thought. There is no tarnish, and the "M" is definitely not stylized. Additional info: The links are flat, and it contains rose, white, and yellow gold.

Hope this info helps.
posted by AdamOddo at 12:34 PM on February 2, 2010

Hrm. My best guess is that 687 is an internal inventory number and the M indicates the craftsman/jeweler who worked on it (not the brand).

Not all costume and fine jewelry was marked. There are some famous makers who didn't mark their jewelry for long stretches of time, particularly some European jewelers. Even among companies that did mark their jewelry, they didn't necessarily mark all of their jewelry (it's possible to have two (nearly) identicial pieces of jewelry in which one was marked with the maker's mark, and the other one wasn't). Then there are some pieces that were marked with the mark on a small metal tag that would hang near the clasp that would often be discarded by the owner. In other cases parts of a set were marked (usually the earrings), but other pieces in the set weren't (e.g., brooches, bracelets, necklaces).

Just out of curiosity, when you say flat links, do you mean more like a meshed/woven/netted/fabricky band, or do you mean like a series of discrete elements linked together with rings/hooks/connectors?
posted by julen at 3:12 PM on February 2, 2010

Response by poster: I just have a low quality webcam, but I tried to take some decent shots: Photos
posted by AdamOddo at 4:29 PM on February 2, 2010

Okay, that's interesting. Are those actual gaps in Picture 1? It looks a little like a high end watch band, perhaps originally with a flip-over watch that would have nestled on top. Does it have a fold-over clasp or a belt-like buckle to fasten it?

If it is a watch band, it'd reinforce the idea my supposition that the 687 is an inventory number and the letter reflects the craftsman who made it; they'd have marked the watch head itself; the band would be more of an supporting player, and not the star of the piece.
posted by julen at 6:42 PM on February 2, 2010

« Older What is the best way to identify a font?   |   What should I do with my Canadian iPhone during an... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.