What is gold-filled jewelry is a frequently asked question. Gold-filled jewelry is jewelry composed of a solid layer of gold mechanically bonded to a base of either sterling silver or some base metal. Here is a brief explanation of what it is, along with some advice for maintaining your gold-filled jewelry.
Gold is infused into the base metal to a minimum of 5% in gold-filled items. They are categorized according to the karat and relative quantity of the gold overlay.
We’ll take the guesswork out of it by explaining what gold-filled jewelry is and why it’s valuable to have in your collection.
What is Gold-Filled Jewelry?
Yellow gold filled jewelry is a good quality, more affordable alternative to solid gold. Also known as “rolled gold” or “gold overlay”, it’s easily confused with gold plating; however, the key difference is that it’s filled with solid gold, hence the name.
In order to create gold filled jewelry, a layer of solid gold is fused to a base metal (such as brass, rhodium, copper, or sterling silver) under specific conditions of pressure and heat. Jewelry is considered to be gold filled if at least 5% of its weight is made up of solid gold.
“Yellow gold” refers to the specific coloring of the jewelry which, in this case, is widely recognized as the traditional gold hue. You can also get “white gold” (silver) filled jewelry, as well as “rose gold”.
What Are the Benefits of Gold-Filled Jewelry?
Although purchasing solid gold jewelry is a significant investment, gold-filled jewelry will undoubtedly cost you less overall. Buying gold plating is significantly less expensive than it.
Unlike gold plating, gold-filled jewelry is tarnish resistant and won’t turn your skin green. Additionally, gold-filled jewelry can last a very long time if it is properly maintained.
How to Care for Gold-Filled Jewelry?
The maintenance of gold-filled jewelry is similar to that of other types of jewelry. Here are our top tips:
- Wearing gold-filled jewelry in the ocean or a pool is not recommended because salt and chlorine can damage it.
- Keep humidity at a minimum and as dry as possible for your gold-filled jewelry! It should be kept separately from other jewelry in an airtight plastic bag to prevent it from losing its sheen from rubbing against other pieces.
- When exercising, avoid wearing gold-filled jewelry. Your pieces may become dull from exposure to sweat-derived salt.
- Be aware that the harsh chemicals in hand lotions, perfumes, and hairspray may cause your gold-filled jewelry to tarnish.
- To maintain shine, gently wipe your gold-filled piece with a jewelry-polishing, non-scratch cloth every now and then.
Why Gold-Filled Jewelry is Better Than Gold-Plated
What about gold-plated jewelry, now that you have a better understanding of gold-filled jewelry? Not in the least is it the same.
Gold-filled jewelry, also referred to as rolled gold plate, can be as thin as 1/40th of the weight, half of what a typical gold-filled jewelry piece is. The quality of gold fill and gold-plate, according to the Gem Society, is their main distinction. Gold platings are the less expensive and thinner of the two kinds of gold overlays. Gold plating easily wears off with a thickness of at most a few thousandths of an inch.
Compared to pure gold and gold-fill, gold-plated jewelry is also less expensive. Its overall gold content is lower, so the materials cost is lower, which is obvious.
In what ways does that affect you? Actually, because gold-plated jewelry is less expensive than gold-filled jewelry, you may be able to purchase more of it, but plan on replacing it frequently. Jewelry with a gold plating won’t last very long.
Your gold-plated jewelry will go through normal wear and tear, which includes sweat, perfume, hair products, salt water, chlorine, and even UV rays, which will cause it to turn strange colors, darken, and even rub off to the base metal layer.
It can be upsetting to find a piece of jewelry you adore and believe you got a great deal on, only to discover a year later when you take it out of your jewelry drawer that it has darkened. It will never regain its original luster no matter how much you clean and polish it.
Gold-plated jewelry might be the perfect option if you’re looking for affordable pieces that you can wear for a season. Gold-filled jewelry, however, is the best option if you want to expand your jewelry collection with items that you can wear forever and pass on to loved ones. You won’t need to keep cleaning and replacing it, so it might cost a little more.
Where to Find Gold-Filled Jewelry?
Sadly, it’s not always simple to tell if jewelry is gold-filled just by looking at it unless you have a solid understanding of jewelry design or metals. When jewelry is new, it often appears the same, although you can sometimes tell if the gold has an orange or white tone that seems “off.” The quality only becomes apparent after some level of use and abuse.
Take into account the location and price range when buying jewelry. Jewelry is more likely to be gold-plated if it is less expensive. Keep in mind that when a metal is gold-plated, the least amount of gold possible is used to bond it to a different, less expensive metal. The price of the item decreases with the amount of gold.
Another warning sign is the presence of costume jewelry racks in the shop you intend to purchase from; chances are good that the jewelry is gold-plated. Costume jewelry frequently has gold plating applied to it to make it look more expensive. It may occasionally be mentioned on the label, but don’t rely on it.
On the other hand, if you buy jewelry from a local jewelry designer or from a local shop that supports local jewelry artists, you’re likely looking at gold-fill items rather than gold-plated ones. While local jewelers frequently use higher-quality gold-fill or other metals, like sterling silver, instead of gold-plated jewelry, which is typically mass-produced in factories.
Final Words On What is Gold-Filled Jewelry
Gold Filled is a durable, high quality alternative to traditional fine gold hallmarked items. Gold-filled jewelry should not tarnish easily and should last for years with proper care.
I hope that this information will give you a better understanding of this jewelry option and how to take care of it.
You May Also Like:
- Is Jewelry a Good Investment?
- How to Tell If Jewelry is Real Gold?
- How to Clean Gold-plated Jewelry?
- How Long Does Gold-plated Jewelry Last?
How Long Does Gold Filled Jewelry Last?
As long as gold filled pieces are well cared for, they can last a lifetime. On the other hand, if kept away from moisture, wear, and heat, gold-plated items can last up to a year. Also worth mentioning is the possibility that gold filled items with lower karat weights (9–14k) will hold up better over time than those with higher gold contents.
Is Gold Filled Suitable for Sensitive Skin?
In the absence of solid gold sensitivities, gold-filled jewelry should not cause you any discomfort since it contains no nickel. Additionally, the skin is not rusty or colored.
Is Gold Filled Any Different to Gold Plated?
Gold plated jewelry and gold filled jewelry are frequently confused. Metals like brass, silver, and copper are only lightly coated with gold in plated jewelry. It is easily tarnished and flaky. The cost of this option is typically lower because the process is less complicated.
Can You Wear Gold Filled in the Shower?
You can wear it to bed, in the shower, and while you exercise. Gold-filled jewelry is safe to wear while swimming, but I generally advise against wearing any type of jewelry in hot tubs or pools.