The jewelry world is full of confusing terminology that can make a simple buying decision feel overwhelming. But don’t worry! Here to break down two commonly confused designations and the pros and cons of each. Churinga will tell you the main differences between gold plated jewelry and gold filled jewelry.
Chapter 1 : What is Gold Plated Jewelry ?
A base metal like brass or copper is used to make gold plated jewelry. Once the base metal is rinsed, cleaned, and shaped, a nickel layer is attached to work as a “buffer” between the gold plating and the metal base. In the last phase, electroplating is used to deliver the nickel-plated base into a gold plating tank.
The plating, however, doesn’t compose any quantifiable proportion of the jewelry’s total weight. In fact, the total amount of gold a plated item usually has is under 0.05% of the overall weight of the product. In terms of durability, gold plating generally wears off quickly and can’t stand up to wear, water, or heat over time.
Chapter 2 : What is Gold Filled Jewelry ?
Gold filled jewelry contains an actual layer of gold that’s “pressure bonded” to a core metal using pressure and heat. Unlike electroplated (dipped or plated) metals, gold filled pieces legally need to feature 1/20 or 5% of gold by weight. In terms of karat, the gold layer on the jewelry is 10k or higher.
Gold filled pieces are much thicker than gold plated ones, but still can’t beat solid gold. The base metal for this type of jewelry can be silver, copper or brass. Because gold filling is much more intense and consumes gold in a higher quantity, the price tag of gold filled jewelry is often higher than that of gold plated pieces.
Chapter 3 :What is the difference between gold plated jewelry and gold filled jewelry?How to make a purchase decision ?
1. Different manufacturing processes
The amount of gold alloy used on gold-filled pieces is different than gold-plated.
The layer of gold alloy on gold-plated jewelry is so minuscule it is barely noticeable in the above image. Gold-filled jewelry has 100x more gold alloy than gold plated and because that layer is so much thicker, it means gold-filled jewelry lasts longer and stands up to wear and tear better than gold plated. All it would take is one small scratch on a gold-plated piece to expose the jeweler’s brass underneath.
To make gold-filled pieces, the core metal is sandwiched between two layers of gold alloy which is then heated and passed through a roller several times – a process that both bonds the metals together and thins the sheet out.
To make gold-plated pieces, an electric current is used to negatively charge the base metal and positively charge a solution containing gold ions. The positive gold ions are attracted to the negative charge of the core metal, slowly forming a layer of gold on top of the core.
Thicker amounts of gold alloy can be added during both processes but typically the amounts shown before are the standard.
When it comes time to make a buying decision, make sure your bank or PayPal account has enough balance to back up your purchase. Gold filled pieces tend to be on the higher end of the cost spectrum while gold plated jewelry is more affordable as it only has a thin layer of gold to deliver the “appearance of gold.” That’s the reason why most fashion jewelry pieces are gold plated—they can be priced lower and appeal to a broader customer base.
Consider buying gold filled jewelry when selecting a meaningful (yet relatively affordable) gift or a piece of jewelry intended for everyday use! Consider buying gold plated jewelry when selecting trendy fashion pieces or costume jewelry!
Because of the thin layer of gold that wears off after a while, gold plated jewelry will begin to tarnish once the base metal is exposed. Gold filled jewelry, on the other hand, will only tarnish under unique circumstances. Pure gold pieces barely tarnish, and even though they’re an alloy, the heavy layer on gold filled jewelry protects against tarnishing. We recommend that wearers clean gold filled pieces with mild soapy water or untreated cloth. For gold plated jewelry, clean only if it’s an absolute necessity. Use a cotton ball for the purpose, and avoid scrubbing your gold items.
4. Skin sensitivity
It’s also important to have an idea about the sensitivity of your skin before you invest in a gold filled or gold plated piece. Are you allergic to metals like copper, rhodium, silver or brass? If that’s the case, you might want to buy a gold filled jewelry piece as you won’t need to worry about any allergic response. We say this because gold plating may comprise cheaper raw materials that can trigger an allergic reaction in your skin, causing oxidation and irritation down the road. You won’t have this problem with gold filled alternatives
As we stated earlier, gold filled jewelry is more resistant to wear and tear than gold plated items due to the thicker layer of the alloy. However, the overall longevity of both is dependent on the environment, quality of the jewelry, and exposure to wear. As long as gold filled pieces are well cared for, they can last a lifetime. Gold plated pieces, on the other hand, can last up to a year if kept away from water, wear, and heat. It’s also worth mentioning that gold filled pieces with lower karat weight (9-14k) may be more durable than pieces with greater gold content.