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Gold Plated vs Gold Filled: Gold Jewelry Explained

Gold Plated vs Gold Filled: Gold Jewelry Explained

bonnie azoulay
6 minute read

When it comes to buying jewelry, one of the most important decisions you can make is deciding what type of gold jewelry you want. Believe it or not, there’s more than one type of gold jewelry! From gold plated and gold filled to gold vermeil and solid gold, gold isn’t a one size fits all material. The thickness of the gold and the percentage of the gold determines the quality of the gold you choose.

Everyone knows that gold is worth investing in but when it comes to selecting a particular type, many find themselves at a crossroads. Should they get the more expensive gold-filled or the less expensive gold-plated option? Which one tarnishes less?

To help demystify this decision and provide insight into how these two methods work, we're going to be sharing our expert advice on the difference between gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry. Read on for all the fun facts about these two types of gold jewelry!

The Difference Between Gold-Plated Jewelry and Gold Filled Jewelry

gold filled vs gold plated jewelry

Gold-plated jewelry is a beautiful and affordable option for those who love the look of gold but don't want to break the bank. What makes it unique? It has a thin layer of gold (less gold makes it less expensive!) on top of an affordable metal like copper.

This type of jewelry is made by coating a base metal with a layer of gold, creating a shiny, gold-like appearance. However, it's important to note that gold-plated jewelry is not as durable as other types of gold jewelry, and the gold layer may wear off and tarnish over time.

On the other hand, gold-filled jewelry is made by bonding a thick layer of solid gold to a base metal like copper or sterling silver, creating a more durable and long-lasting piece. While it may be a bit pricier than gold-plated jewelry, it's a great option for those who want the look of gold without worrying about it tarnishing or fading.

Overall, both gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry offers beautiful options for jewelry lovers, but it's important to weigh the benefits of each before making a purchase!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Gold-Plated Jewelry

Gold-plated jewelry has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its affordability and aesthetic appeal. One of the biggest advantages of gold-plated jewelry is its price point. It allows you to achieve the look of real gold without spending over your budget.

Additionally, it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other metals, making it a great option for those with sensitive skin. (Most jewelry is typically hypoallergenic if it’s not made from nickel. So, if the base metal is alloyed nickel, it’s something to be aware of).

However, there are also some disadvantages to consider. Gold plating is a surface-level application, meaning that it can wear off over time and lose its luster. It also requires more maintenance than solid gold jewelry and gold-filled jewelry and may need to be re-plated periodically.

Overall, while there are pros and cons to gold-plated jewelry, it can be a great option for those who want the look of gold without the high price tag!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Gold-Filled Jewelry

Gold-filled jewelry is a great alternative to solid gold pieces. (Solid gold contains gold throughout and is considered anything higher than 10k — it’s also the most expensive and durable of all the gold jewelry. (Pure gold is 24k gold and can’t be formed into jewelry because it’s too soft to mold into pieces).

One of its main advantages is that it looks just like real gold but at a fraction of the cost. Unlike gold plated jewelry, gold filled jewelry is made by bonding a thick layer (at least 5%) of gold to a base metal, making it more durable and longer lasting. Anything 14k or higher of gold filled jewelry are are hypoallergenic.

On the other hand, one of the disadvantages of gold filled jewelry is that it still may not last as long as real solid gold pieces. Despite its drawbacks, gold-filled jewelry is still a popular choice for anyone looking to add some gold to their jewelry collection without buying solid gold jewelry.

How to Care for Your Gold Jewelry

Gold jewelry is a timeless and elegant accessory that many people love to wear. However, it is important to take proper care of it to keep it shining for years to come. To care for your gold jewelry, avoid wearing it when swimming in chlorinated water or while doing any strenuous activities.

Avoid applying lotions, perfumes, or other chemicals directly on it as well. Clean your gold jewelry with a soft cloth and warm water, and store it in a dry and safe place. By taking good care of your gold jewelry, you can ensure that it remains stunning and valuable for a long time!

What is Gold Vermeil Jewelry?

Similar to gold plated jewelry, vermeil jewelry goes through the same plating process except it has a thicker layer of gold. The gold layer must be above 2.5 microns for it to be considered gold vermeil. Unlike gold-filled or gold-plated, the vermeil base metal is only sterling silver and not copper or brass, etc.

So, gold vermeil is thicker than gold plated and only uses sterling silver as a base metal, which makes it different from both gold plated and gold filled jewelry. It’s also more expensive than gold plated and can also be more expensive than gold filled. Sterling silver is much higher quality than other base metals like copper and is also more hypoallergenic because of it’s thicker layer of gold.

Tips on Buying High-quality Gold Jewelry

Purchasing high-quality gold jewelry can be challenging, especially if you're not quite sure what to look for. To ensure that you're buying the best piece of jewelry possible, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First and foremost, always make sure that the jewelry is actually made of gold and not just gold-plated or filled (unless that’s what you’re looking for! See above).

It's also important to consider the purity of the gold, with 24K gold being the purest form. There are also 10k, 14k, 18k, and 22k. The higher the karat, the fewer alloyed metals the gold jewelry contains.

Additionally, take note of the total weight and thickness of the jewelry to ensure that it's durable and won't easily break or bend. By keeping these tips in mind, you'll find high-quality gold jewelry that you'll love.

Whether you are looking for luxury or affordability, both types of gold jewelry have their advantages and should be cared for properly to ensure that they last a lifetime. Gold plated and gold filled jewelry are both great options to choose from when considering which type of gold jewelry would be best for your personal needs. You can also opt for gold vermeil pieces if you’re looking for a sterling silver base metal and thicker gold layering. Regardless of which gold you choose, the right piece will be a timeless addition to your collection!

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