So, you came across these two terms and presumably took them to be synonymous. However, when you went to the jewelry shop to purchase a beautiful one, you were baffled – aren’t they the same? Well, we’re fairly certain it’s not. But don’t you worry now, we’ll be guiding you along the way.
Gold filled vs. gold plated? There’s actually a big difference. Every category varies in its important way. Below is a rundown of everything you need to know about these two. Learn how they compare and contrast and you will be more confident to make an informed jewelry buying decision. We will first go over the basic definition for each type. And then, let’s roll and compare their differences and explore how you can decide which is the best fit for you. Let’s get started.
Gold Plated Meaning
You’ve been wondering, what is gold plated jewelry? By definition, gold plated jewelry is another type of metal used and electroplated with a layer of golf to create a cost-effective yet fashionable jewelry design. Its composition is what makes it considerably affordable than the other categories. With gold plated chains and trinkets, jewellers’ creativity towards their design is endless having not to cause them much.
This leads you to the following questions, does gold plated tarnish? How long does gold plated jewelry last? Unfortunately, yes they do tarnish. But – there’s a big but. We can prolong their wearable life if we handle them with care. Because the thin layers of gold easily wear off, gold plated chains will tarnish once the core metal is exposed.
Furthermore, gold plated jewelry is a great use for fashion being on-trend. Using them will allow you to express individuality without causing you so much. With costumes and Cosplays, in particular, you can be expressive with your accessories using gold plated chains as they are not very difficult to find. Because they are meant for the occasion, the look is more significant than its durability.
Gold Filled Meaning
Gold filled jewelry has a much thicker layer of gold over its base metal, sometimes even 100% thicker. This kind of composition makes a big difference in terms of the jewelry’s longevity. The selling point of gold filled necklaces, or the gold filled chains in general, is that even if there is another type of base metal in its composition, it’s rather hard to tell the difference between a “real” gold to a gold filled piece. You will want to consider the jewelry type tests to verify its category.
Knowing its composition now, you might ask again, does gold filled jewelry tarnish?
Well, Gold filled pieces are still susceptible to tarnishing; but, not as much as gold plated. Some special circumstances fist has to take place before it happens. Moreover, gold filled chains are best chosen if longevity and durability are a must. They are perfect to be given as gifts for birthdays or anniversaries because they are meant to last for decades. If you are also looking for a jewelry piece to wear every day, gold filled jewelry is for you.
Gold Plated vs. Gold Filled and their Differences
Now, to their differences. To start, their manufacturing process is different. The amount of gold alloy present in gold filled pieces is unparalleled from those of gold-plated.
The gold alloys found on gold plated jewelry are very miniscule you can barely notice (in the above image). To make gold plated pieces, an electroplating process is needed to form a layer of gold on top of its core. Whereas with gold filled jewelry, the core metal is coated in between with gold alloy. This is then heated several times passing through a roller. This is a process that bonds the metal together and thins the sheet out.
Furthermore, gold filled jewelry is composed of a gold alloy 100x more. This makes the layer thicker and thus produces a more long-lasting piece compared to gold plated. All it takes for a gold plated piece to expose the brass underneath is one small scratch. Durability wise, as we’ve mentioned beforehand, gold filled jewelry is more durable. This is because gold filled have thicker layers of gold alloy. On that note, the longevity of each category is still dependent on external factors such as its wear, the environment, and the quality of the piece.
How to Clean Gold Plated or Gold Filled Jewelry
In cleaning both gold plated or gold filled jewelry, use an untreated cloth and a mild soap. Scrub gently to avoid scratching. We must always prevent scratching because that of which would lead to tarnishing.
Other Types of Gold Jewelry
Solid Gold — In jewelry production, solid gold is jewelry made entirely of pure gold — both inside and out. For this reason, it is considered to be the most expensive gold jewelry and is more durable compared to the other categories. Solid gold is then labelled through their percentages of actual gold — it can be either 10K, 14K, 18K, or 24K (Karats).
Gold Vermeil — Gold Vermeil is more popularly known as “silver gilt.” This refers to a premium quality of silver that is then plated with gold layers. Many of the Gold vermeil available in the market today are created through the electroplating process — this time, electroplating the silver with gold. It shouldn’t be confused with gold plated jewelry. When a jewelry piece is said to be vermeil, it can only have sterling silver or any high-grade silver base.
Rolled Gold — Rolled gold is a base metal with a layer of gold rolled over it. It is also known as gold filled. The gold layer’s thickness can vary. In general, however, it measures at least 5% of the total metal weight. The modern rolled gold jewelry found in the market today should have a stamp. The stamp will indicate how much gold is present in that jewelry piece and its level of purity. For instance, “RG” means the metal used is rolled gold. We also have “RPG”, meaning the item is rolled gold plated.
What Types of Gold Jewelry to Buy?
Finally, we are now able to break down and differentiate each category of these jewelry pieces. The next dilemma would be figuring out what type of jewelry to buy. The trick here is to know the function of the jewelry. How do you intend to use it? For what purpose? Do you want to keep it longer or is it just an accessory for an occasion? These are some of the questions you should consider to make a sound choice of what to buy.
If you want a premium quality that is demi-fine, an 18K gold vermeil is a good option. If you’re fine with a lower base metal but want to keep it longer, gold-filled pieces are your best bet. If it’s only for casual fashion or you just want to ride a trend, gold plated jewelry are the pieces to go. It is a matter of personal preference. But we are glad to guide you along the way.
FAQ about Gold Filled Vs. Gold Plated
Yes, gold plated jewelry will definitely tarnish over time. Its composition will eventually lead it to discolor and lose its luster. But there are helpful tips on how to keep them longer. Cleaning them and using them with care are only a few.
Your gold plated jewelry can last for up to 2 years. Possibly longer if regularly maintained. Handling with care will increase the wearable life of your jewelry piece.