Mexican made jewelry uses quality marks that basically match those used in the United States. Like the United States, the maker marks the jewelry item. It is not unheard of to encounter a 14K mark and discover that the actual karat is noticeably lower - sometimes by two levels making our 14K example 12K instead.
Fortunately, many jewelry items are not only marked with the quality but also bear a country-of-origin mark. Thus, the abbreviation "MEX" or the full name "MEXICO" are often the norm
However, beware that the marks CH14K, CHMEX14K and CH14KMX do not signify gold. The CH is an abbreviation for Chapado which is Spanish for layer or veneer - in other words, plated. Thus, one cannot say that the piece is a fake or somehow fraudulent because it is marked properly. In the photograph - notice that you can see the plating wearing off.
Mexican silver has become very popular, especially since the price for gold has risen to unbelievable prices.
The most common marks are what are classified as “circular” marks. They usually state “Hecho Mexico” which means “made in Mexico.” They will be marked 925 – a standard mark for sterling silver. Additionally, a maker’s mark will be included. The city name will also be included, in most cases. DF in the photograph stands for Mexico City (Federal District). Other commonly seen city marks will be Taxco and Guadalajara (usually abbreviated as Guad). The maker’s mark in the photograph is the MA (unidentified).
Sometimes instead of 925 – the word “sterling” will be stamped … and in some cases, both the 925 as well as sterling will be stamped on a piece. You may encounter items stamped “silver” and 925.
There are also “eagle” marks. The eagle marks used from 1948 to 1955 had a circle surround whereas eagle marks from 1955 to 1980 did not (the circle is in the shape of an eagle). The mark in this photograph is the latter and because of the 3 – is called an eagle 3.
Marks with markers’ registrations began around 1980. The mark will have the initials of the silversmith and their registration number. The city of registration will be included. Taxco is very common and can be spelled out or abbreviated as a T. Thus a TP – 102 translates to Taxco, with the P representing the first initial of the silversmith and the 102 his or her registration number.
Alpaca is copper, zinc and nickel or the same as German silver. If you encounter this mark – it is not silver but a nickel alloy.