Discover the difference between Solid Gold, Gold-filled, and Gold Plated

When purchasing gold jewelry there are so many different options available.  I often get questions regarding solid gold, gold-filled, and gold plated jewelry; so I thought I would address those many concerns.

So what does gold-filled really mean?

What this really means is that with gold-filled jewelry, the gold is adhered to a core metal using extreme heat and pressure. It is a very thorough and intense process and will not flake off.  The core metal that the gold is is adhered to is usually jeweler's brass. 

Please do not assume it's gold-filled because of the color.  Check the wording in the description very carefully.  Many designers sell gold plated at a gold-filled price. You don't want to pay more money and it ends up flaking off. Gold plated minimum requirements are .5 microns, so it usually doesn't last long. Heavy plated jewelry in the United States is required to be 2.5 microns, while Canada's requirement is 1.0 microns.  I'm very careful to where I purchase my gold, because there are different standards in different countries. I purchase my gold and gold-filled products with companies that only meet the United States standards or exceed them. 

Before I started designing and making jewelry, I bought a gold-plated bracelet, can I tell you how disappointing it was? The plating came off within 6 months. However, I have purchased heavily plated earrings that have lasted, I believe that is from not being banged around or touching the skin 24/7 like a bracelet or necklace would be.

I would suggest going with gold-filled in this case, if your budget allows go for gold because it lasts forever.  I have one piece that I bought and they were 18K earrings over 30 years ago, and they look as good as the day I purchased them. 

In the United States the standard requires that the gold layer consist of 1/20th (5%) of the jewelry's total weight to be called gold-filled.

In the United States, you are required to state on your website if it is 12K GF or 14K GF.  It cannot be listed as gold, if it is gold-filled.  That is very unethical, and honestly you wouldn't want to work with someone like that.  

Why would I choose solid gold vs gold-filled?  

Most people choose gold because it will last forever, while gold-filled will last for many years approximately 10 to 30 years. Many people prefer gold-filled due to its affordability over gold.  Although gold-filled is affordable, it costs more than plated jewelry because it uses real gold.

I would always advise if you want it to last forever, go for the 14KT or 18KT real gold. 

I offer both on my website, because I have some clients that prefer 14KT or 18KT gold, while others need that affordability factor.

Check out our handcrafted solid gold jewelry:

Check out our handcrafted gold-filled jewelry:

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published