The hallmarks and stamps will tell that, and much more in many cases. For ordinary jewelry wearers, it is not necessarily clear at first sight whether an old piece of jewelry comes from the Kalevala Jewelry or Lapponia collection or whether it is something else entirely – and it is not always clear for an expert either. The elements, decorative designs and structures characteristic for Kalevala and Lapponia Jewelry can be found in jewelry by other manufacturers, too, and jewelry by both brands has also been imitated, even copied, over the decades.
Is my jewelry Kalevala or Lapponia jewelry?
If you are wondering about the origins of your jewelry, the first thing you should do is examine the stamps and hallmarks on it. They are often very small, and for example on small stud earrings, they may have been punched on the earring post, so a good magnifying glass will come in handy when studying the stamps. All Kalevala and Lapponia Jewelry is equipped with the maker’s mark. The oldest Kalevala products, made before 1942, were stamped with one capital letter K inside a rectangle, with a serrated pattern underneath. Since 1942, Kalevala jewelry has been punched with the company’s stamp, the letters KK inside a circle. This mark is still used. Old Kalevala jewelry often features not only the maker’s mark of the company, but also the mark of the supplier who made the piece, such as HGL (Holger Lindström) or HK (Heikki Kaksonen). The maker’s mark of Lapponia is a crown with three points, for which the letters L and J (Lapponia Jewelry) create a rectangular frame. This hallmark is found on all gold, silver and platinum jewelry by Lapponia. The so-called Fire Bronze jewelry, made in the 1970s and again in the early 2010s, features the text LAPPONIA instead of the maker’s mark.
The bronze stamps of Kalevala jewelry may include the text MADE IN FINLAND alongside the maker’s mark, but in most cases, bronze jewelry has no other marks. Precious metal jewelry always features not only the maker’s mark but also at least the hallmark (3), the shape of which indicates the precious metal in question. The numbers in the mark indicate the content of the precious metal in question of the metal alloy weight in per mille. On silver jewelry, the hallmark is rectangular, on gold jewelry, oval and on platinum jewelry, a diamond shape. The content of Lapponia jewelry in silver, and Kalevala Jewelry in silver, made since the late 1960s, is 925. Possible contents of older silver Kalevala Jewelry are 916, 830 and 813. The contents of both Lapponia and Kalevala Jewelry gold pieces are either 585 (14 karat gold) or 750 (18 karat gold). The same model can have been made from both alloys. The content of platinum jewelry is 950.
Many precious metal pieces of jewelry also contain a stamp representing the year of production, the date letter mark. The date letter mark (4) comprises a capital letter and a number inside a frame, for example M7. The shape of the frame is the same as that of the hallmark. The key to the date letter marks below helps in finding the year corresponding the combination of a letter and a number.
Other possible stamps or marks on precious metal jewelry include Finland’s national control mark (1, a crown on a heart-shaped base, showing wave-like images), the international control mark (Common Control Mark, CCM stamp), the town mark, LAPPONIA and the designer’s signature. In many cases, the total weight of the diamonds in carats, that is, one fifth of a gram, e.g. 0.12, is often engraved on diamond jewelry.
Date letter marks
Kalevala’s catalogue of old jewelry (available only in Finnish) is a journey through time, featuring the jewelry ideals of yesteryear and jewelry styles of various decades. The archive does not represent the complete Kalevala collection, but it shows examples of jewelry since the 1940s.
The catalogue is an excellent tool for identifying jewelry, as you may find your old piece of Kalevala Jewelry easily among the clear photographs in the archive. The jewelry can be browsed based on three search criteria: product group, designer or decade.
If you cannot find your piece of jewelry in the archive, you can send us an identification request by email to info @ kalevala.fi. Please enclose a picture or pictures of the jewelry and try to include a picture of the stamps on the jewelry, if possible. We will try to reply to you within one week. Please note that unfortunately, we cannot give any price estimates for old jewelry. If you wish to get a price estimate, it is best to turn to second-hand shops or auctioneers who specialise in old jewelry. You can send us an identification request for Lapponia jewelry as well.