There are so many types of gold jewelry available, which can be very confusing and frustrating when you’re shopping. Don’t worry; once you’ve read our guide, you’ll understand each one and be able to choose which to purchase.
As a commodity that is traded internationally, solid, pure gold is very expensive. Luckily, there are different types of gold jewelry in terms of plating that can give us the look for less, and can last for a long time.
We wanted to explain the differences between the types of gold jewelry available – gold plated, gold vermeil, gold filled, and solid gold. Let’s get started.
What is Gold Plated Jewelry?
A base metal (typically brass or copper) is covered with a very thin layer of gold (less than 0.05% actual gold) to create gold-plated jewelry. Jewelry that is gold-plated is made by plating a thin layer of gold onto the base metal.
Generally, gold-plated jewelry will last 2 years on average, depending on how often it is worn and how well it is taken care of.
Because the gold plating is so thin, the gold can easily rub off. It is also more prone to tarnishing when exposed to any kinds of liquids or chemicals. Although gold itself does not corrode, copper and brass will, especially when exposed to liquids (in the air, sweat, lotion, perfume, etc).
Here is more information on caring your gold plated jewelry:
Because only a small amount of gold is used to cover a base metal, gold plated jewelry is significantly less expensive than other types of gold jewelry. Gold-plated jewelry is a good choice if you only need jewelry occasionally or want to experiment with new fashions. For more information on gold plated jewelry, continue reading:
What is Gold Vermeil?
Gold vermeil (pronounced ver-may) is thick gold plating on top of sterling silver. US standards call for at least 2.5 microns of gold to be plated over sterling silver, but other nations, like Canada, only call for 1.0 micron.
People who have a metal allergy can wear it without risk because it is hypoallergenic. The gold lasts significantly longer in vermeil because the gold plating is much thicker than it is in gold-plated jewelry. Over years, with lots of excessive use, the gold can wear off in areas with a lot of contact.
And remember, clean your gold vermeil regularly to make it shiny as the fist look.
Generally speaking, gold vermeil will last from five to ten years before they begin to show signs of wear and tear.
Here are more information about gold vermeil:
What is Gold Filled?
Gold filled jewelry is a solid layer of gold mechanically bonded to a base – jeweler’s brass. According to US regulations, the gold layer must make up 1/20th (or 5%) of the jewelry’s overall weight. The gold is usually 14k gold, but sometimes may be 12k gold (sometimes stamped with 14/20 or 12/20, respectively).
Due to the limitations imposed by the way gold filled is produced, it cannot be cast or poured into a mold and is only accessible in the form of wire or sheets. Gold filled charms are either flat (made from sheets), or hollow (two pieces of sheet metal soldered together). When gold filled cannot be used to create charms or rings, gold vermeil is used.
Compared to gold plated jewelry, gold filled jewelry contains almost 100 times as much gold. The gold cannot rub off because it is mechanically bonded to the base rather than being plated.
It has the same qualities as solid gold jewelry at a fraction of the cost. Gold filled jewelry is fantastic for those who are allergic to metals because they won’t experience an allergic reaction to the material.
Here are some tips to make gold filled last longer:
If you want to know more about Gold filled, here are posts for you:
What is Solid Gold?
Solid gold is a bit of an exaggeration. And, in reality, you don’t actually want 100% “pure” gold.
Pure gold, also referred to as 24-karat gold, is always in demand. However, you’ll find that pure gold is not frequently used in jewelry because it is too brittle to maintain its shape over time. Additionally, because it is too yellow, it doesn’t really complement the majority of skin tones.
So how exactly do they create gold jewelry out of pure gold?
“Solid” gold really means you’re getting an alloy. An alloy is a combination of two or more metals that makes the final piece stronger and helps maintain the life of the piece. For jewelry, metals lower than 24K gold will do.
The easier it is to wear and take care of your special piece, the lower the karats.
Solid gold jewelry is fantastic because you won’t ever have to be concerned about your pieces tarnishing. You can swim, shower, and exercise while wearing solid gold jewelry, and it won’t ever lose its shine.
Difference Between Solid Gold, Gold-Plated, Vermeil, Gold-Filled Jewelry
Of all the types of gold jewelry, solid gold is hands down the best option. It is extremely valuable and will continue to be so for a very long time. Gold is a component of the metal itself, not just a coating, so the color won’t fade. It also won’t tarnish. Additionally, in times of financial crisis, it can be exchanged for cash.
Which is better, gold-filled or gold vermeil? Which option is the better one? Both of these types are good alternatives to solid gold jewelry. If you have a metal allergy but lack the funds to purchase a solid gold item, these are excellent alternatives. But gold-filled jewelry is superior in terms of sturdiness. There’s a lower chance of tarnishing. In actuality, it’s quite uncommon.
Gold vermeil jewelry, on the other hand, can tarnish if the finish wears off. To last as long as gold-filled jewelry, it will need to be properly cared for. This type of gold jewelry is more affordable, which is a plus. Additionally, the jewelry will maintain its value over time thanks to the silver base metal. Moreover, you can easily have the finish repaired if it wears off.
What about gold vermeil vs gold plated jewelry? The more affordable option between the two is gold plating. However, this kind of gold jewelry loses its finish much more quickly, which makes it more difficult for people who have metal allergies to wear. Gold vermeil jewelry with its heavier plating is a bit more expensive, but a better investment if you want an affordable piece in your jewelry collection.
Which Types of Gold Jewelry Are the Best for Me?
The best type of gold jewelry that’s suited for you depends on a number of factors, such as your budget, how often you wear your jewelry, whether you’ll be able to take good care of it, and more.
Because they are both inexpensive and of a high enough caliber for daily wear, gold filled and gold vermeil are our favorites.
Final Words on Types of Gold Jewelry
We hope this post was educational to you and helped you understand more about the different types of gold jewelry available!
In summary of types of gold jewelry, you do not need a budget for solid/pure gold to look expensive on the daily basis. The affordable plating options of gold plated, vermeil, and gold filled can last you a long time with the right care.
Once you start wearing these pieces, you’ll fall in love and stop buying costume jewelry.
Read More: How to Tell If Jewelry is Real Gold?
What is Gold-plated Jewelry Made Of?
Gold plated jewelry is a brass, copper, or low-end metal electroplated with a layer of gold.
What is the Highest Quality Gold?
Pure gold is notated as 24K – this is the highest karat level for gold meaning it is 100% pure gold.
What is More Precious Than Gold?
Compared to gold, diamonds are significantly more expensive. However, red diamonds are extremely rare on our planet.