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What is Gold Filled Jewelry
We've all been there. There are many different ways to make jewelry from solid, plated to filled and sometimes two tone jewelry styles. For many people who adore gold but feel it's not affordable, there are two options to get the look at a fraction of the cost. Those two options are gold plated, and gold filled. So what does gold filled jewelry mean, and what is the difference between gold filling and gold plating? Here we will explain the differences between these two jewelry styles. We'll also explain why they come at different price points, and when we think it's worth paying more.
Learn the Difference
What Does Gold Filled Mean in Jewelry?
You aren't the only one whose wondering what does it mean when jewelry is gold filled. This is a question jewelers frequently find themselevs answering. We'll explain more in detail below, but here's a quick list to help you understand the main difference between the two processes.
- Typically lasts a lifetime
- Typically uses two bonded alloys
- Usually has a brass base
- 5% or 1/20 true gold
- Medium strength
- More expensive
- Does not last a lifetime
- Typically dipped instead of bonded
- Usually has a brass base
- .05% or less true gold
- Light strength
- More affordable
What is the Value of Gold Filled Jewelry?
Gold filled jewelry is significantly more valuable than gold plated jewelry. The biggest difference between gold fill and gold plate is the amount of gold present in the design, and the length of time that gold will last. Gold fill jewelry will last a very long time, typically the purchaser's entire lifetime and then some. Now only does gold fill last longer, it's more convenient to wear. It's usually ok to wash your hands, or to shower while wearing gold filled jewelry(though it's best not to when possible). However gold plated jewelry pieces should be removed each time you perform these tasks. Because gold filling requires more gold, it already costs more than plating. Add to that superior longevity and it's ability to mimic the look of solid gold, and you can easily understand why customers are willing to pay more for it. With gold filled styles, you can typically expect to pay twice as much as plated styles to start. The final markup however will vary by the size and intricacy of the design itself. The next time someone asks you, what is the difference between gold filled and gold plated jewelry, you can stress to them the difference between longevity and ease for daily wear.
The resale value of gold filled products is higher than gold plated, especially with non-jewelry items.
Gold Filled Ball Studs:
Gold Filled Locket Necklace:
Is Gold Filled or Gold Plated Better For You?
Now that you know what is the difference between gold plated and gold filled jewelry, you should be able to decide which style is best for you. If you like a current on trend jewelry style, it's probably best to choose a gold plated ring, bracelet, or necklace. Popular and trending styles don't typically stay popular for more than a few seasons. You probably won't wear them every day either. Since it's not going to be a jewelry accessory that you wear frequently or probably keep for more than a year, go ahead and look for plated styles and save your money. For shoppers looking for a personalized everyday accessory, like a bar necklace or namebar ring, you should invest in a gold filled product. Many shoppers looking for alternative engagement rings also rely heavily on gold filled engagement rings. For many shoppers it's an earth-friendly choice, and for others it's a long-lasting placeholder until they can afford what they ideally want.
If you're comfortable spending slightly more, gold filled is the best choice for a long-lasting piece of jewelry.
Is Solid Gold Jewelry Better?
If you have the financial comfort to purchase solid gold jewelry pieces, than yes, solid gold is the best gold you can purchase. Solid gold jewelry or jewelry labeled 14k, 18k, and 24k are the best that you can purchase. The karat name refers to how much true gold is bonded to whatever the base material is that the jeweler uses. Gold bonding at the 14, 18 and 24 karat level will last forever. Before you save up all your funds and decide to take the 24karat gold plunge, there are a few things to consider. Gold, though strikingly beautiful, is one of the softer jewelry materials. Many shoppers will choose a 14k gold or gold filled ring because they're more durable than a 24kt gold ring style. A 24k gold ring or bracelet should still be worn carefully because it's sensitive to scratches and can even be bent.
Solid gold jewelry is an investment that will last beyond even your own lifetime, but it can scratch and bend.
- 24K, 24kt, 999
- 18K, 18kt, 750
- 14K, 14kt, 585
- 10K, 10kt, 417
Pure Gold %:
- Strong/rich color
- Doesn't bend