What is Gold-Filled? | Things You May Not Know

What is Gold-Filled jewelry? Understanding The Differences Between Golds

Gold is a material that has been used for many years. It's the go-to-choice for many civilizations throughout history and is still a popular choice today. However, not many people understand what it means if your jewelry is gold-filled and how that differs from other gold items on the jewelry market today. In this blog post, we'll talk through everything you need to know about gold-filled jewelry so you can make the best decisions when it relates to your future gold purchases.

What Is Gold-Filled Jewelry?

Essentially, gold-filled means that there is a layer of gold added onto another alloy. Gold is mechanically bonded to a core metal which can be sterling silver or other base metals like copper and brass. High pressure and heat are used to create this bond. The finished product is then sold to jewelry companies as raw materials for their jewelry creations.

There are specific requirements that gold-filled jewelry must meet in order for it to be considered authentic. Legally, the gold must be at least 5% gold or 1/20 by weight. If it does not meet those regulations, it's not considered an authentic gold-filled jewelry item.

If you are looking for quality that won't tarnish, then gold-filled may be your best bet because it's durable and less likely to lose its color over time. It also doesn't contain alloys like nickel, so people who have sensitive skin or allergies will benefit from this product as well! 

This type of jewelry is especially popular among jewelers today because it offers more value when compared to other gold items while still giving customers that same beautiful appearance they desire at affordable prices.

Why Can’t Jewelers Cast Gold Filled Jewelry Like They Do Any Other Jewelry?

Since gold filled is a layered material it cannot be cast like traditional jewelry. Jewelry and charms are made from sheet, tube, or wire that has already been layered. Casting requires the metals to be melted and poured into an investment mold. If we were to do so with the gold-filled material all the metals would melt and lose its gold-filled layers. You can read more on the casting process.  

What’s the Difference Between Gold Plating, Gold Vermeil, Gold-Filled, and Solid Gold?

With so many different terms used for gold, it can be challenging to keep up or understand the difference. However, understanding the definition of each type of gold can help you identify the differences between gold jewelry.

  • Gold Plating: If a piece of jewelry is gold plated, then it has a skinny layer of gold applied to a base metal such as silver, brass, or copper. Gold plated jewelry does not typically carry a high karat weight and is a less expensive option when compared to other gold items.
  • Gold Vermeil: This French name for gold is referencing jewelry that has been gilded with gold but is actually made out of silver. While this definition can change depending on where you live, it typically has to meet the requirements of being at least 10k or higher to be considered authentic gold vermeil jewelry. It should also have at least 2.5 microns of gold plating.
  • Gold Filled: As described in this blog, gold-filled means there is a layer of gold bonded onto another base metal. Legally, the gold must be at least 5% gold or 1/20 by weight. Gold-filled items will have more gold than gold plated and vermeil jewelry.
  • Solid Gold: Solid Gold jewelry consists entirely of gold. This type of jewelry is the most expensive of its kind because it's not attached to any other kind of metal.

What Are the Advantages of Purchasing Gold-Filled Jewelry?

There are tons of advantages to purchasing gold-filled jewelry. Here are the top reasons most people opt for this type of jewelry.

  1. Hypoallergenic

Gold-filled jewelry is hypoallergenic, which means that it's very unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. This material will also not irritate sensitive skin, which is perfect for those people who typically have a hard time finding jewelry due to allergies or rashes.

  1. Cost-Efficient

One of the best advantages of purchasing gold-filled jewelry is its cost. It is significantly cheaper than pure gold, but it's more durable. In addition, gold-filled pieces are usually well-priced, which makes them one of the most cost-efficient types of jewelry on the market today for authentic gold products.

  1. Durable

Gold-filled jewelry will keep its gold longer than most plated jewelry. Gold-filled items simply have a lot more gold and a thicker layer that will last much longer.

  1. Choice of Design

Gold-filled pieces are available in a wide variety of designs today to meet the needs and wants of many different people. Some popular options include wedding bands, engagement rings, earrings, charms, bracelets, or pendants. You’ll be able to find the beauty and individuality you need with a piece of gold-filled jewelry.

How Do I Care for My Gold-Filled Jewelry?

Gold-filled jewelry is easy to care for. Just take a little time every few months and gently polish your gold-filled pieces with a mild soap, slightly dampened cloth, or toothbrush in warm water. You can also head to your local jewelry shop to have your jewelry professionally cleaned. Here’s an article about jewelry maintenance.

Will Gold-Filled Jewelry tarnish?

Any jewelry or charm with a layer of gold can inevitably tarnish. Since gold-filled items have a solid layer of gold it will take much longer to tarnish than other plating processes. In order to protect the gold and ensure it lasts longer we recommend keeping the jewelry away from chemicals such as chlorine, lotions, etc. Believe it or not people’s body chemistry can cause their skin to blacken. A person’s sweat can also cause tarnishing. This does not mean that the jewelry is not authentic. It simply means that their skin can have a reaction when exposed to metals.

Why do some Gold-Filled Jewelry have different color finishes?

Since gold-filled jewelry is made individually there can be slight variations in the color finishes. The process of making gold-filled jewelry is similar to blacksmith work and can cause the finish to vary.

Choose Reputable Gold-Filled Jewelers

Gold-Filled jewelry is a popular alternative to solid gold because it is more affordable and just as gorgeous. However, suppose you want a beautiful, high-quality piece of jewelry for yourself or someone else in your life. It is always best to buy from reputable sellers. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to HarperCrown.

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