Gold Plated, Gold Filled, or Solid Gold jewelry?

Seline’s Forever Gold Tassel Earrings as seen on The Vampire Diaries

What’s the difference between Gold Plated, Gold Filled, and Solid Gold jewelry?

 

If you are in the market to purchase gold jewelry you probably have heard the terms Gold Plated, Gold Filled, and Solid Gold. But what does each one mean? Which one will give you the most bang for your buck? It can be quite confusing. Let’s take a quick look at each one.

Gold

 

Gold Plated Jewelry 

Price Point – $

Gold Plated Jewelry is made of a base metal alloy that is plated in an extremely thin layer of gold. Gold Plated items are NOT regulated by the government, so the level of thickness will vary. As for price point, this is the cheapest option, but the pieces will not stand the test of time. The plating does not last long and will eventually wear off and tarnish.

 

Gold Filled Jewelry

Price Point – $$

“Gold-filled” or “Gold Filled” is a USA industry standard that legally requires 1/20th, or 5% pure gold by weight. It’s a strictly regulated process that involves pressure bonding multiple layers of solid gold (usually 14kt) with extreme heat over a core of high quality jeweler’s brass resulting in a durable, quality real gold product. Gold Filled Jewelry will never lose its golden hue because it is permanently bonded. Gold filled jewelry offers all the same characteristics as solid gold but at a fraction of the cost. With reasonable care, gold filled jewelry will last a lifetime.

 

Solid Gold Jewelry

Price Point – $$$$

When you first think of solid gold, you think of karats. Karat is the term used to measure the purity of gold. Pure gold is very soft. In order to increase the toughness and hardness of gold, other metal alloys are added. For instance, the traditional 14 Karat gold contains fourteen parts of pure gold and ten parts of other metals such as silver, copper and nickel.

24 karat = 99.5% pure gold and above
22 karat = 91.7 % gold
18 karat = 75.0 % gold
14 karat = 58.3 % gold
12 karat = 50.0 % gold
10 karat = 41.7 % gold

The higher the percentage of pure gold, the more expensive the jewelry.

 

 

Gold PlatedGold FilledSolid Gold

 

Which Should You Choose?

I broke down some of the pros and cons for gold plated, gold filled and solid gold jewelry. I hope this will help you decide what works best for you.

 

Gold Plated Jewelry

Pros

  • Looks like gold
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Short “lifespan”
  • NOT recommended for those with metal sensitivities

 

Gold Filled Jewelry

Pros

  • Looks just like solid gold
  • Considered Hypo-allergenic
  • More durable than gold plated
  • Most affordable alternative to solid gold
  • With reasonable care, gold filled jewelry will last a lifetime.

Cons

  • I can’t think of any cons other than it not being solid gold.

 

Solid Gold Jewelry

Pros

  • It’s solid gold!
  • Considered Hypo-allergenic

Cons

  • Very expensive $$$$
  • Depending on the karat it can be softer than gold -filled jewelry

 

 

I hope this quick guide helped you. Check out this LINK for high quality gold filled jewelry in my shop Alyce n Maille.

 

Crystal and Gold Bracelet as seen on Jane The Virgin - gold filled bracelet
Crystal and Gold Bracelet as seen on Jane The Virgin

 

Sources:
www.mygoldguide.in
www.rings-things.com
www.gldn.com

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