Differences Between Gold-Plated Jewelry and Gold Filled Jewelry

Many customers will be attracted by the shiny yellow of gold jewelry. Gold can both retain its value and showcase a prestigious status, making it a highly sought-after precious metal from ancient times to the present. With almost the same appearance with gold and relatively affordable price, gold-plated and gold filled jewelry, is gaining the popularity of more and more people. But what’s the difference between them?

There is  significant differences between gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry. These differences relate to the thickness of the gold layer, the materials used, and the overall durability and value of the jewelry. So, first of all.

What is gold-plated jewelry?

Gold-plated jewelry is crafted by applying a thin layer of gold (typically 14K or 18K) onto a base metal (copper, brass, stainless steel and others) using a technique called electroplating. Electroplating employs an electric current to diminish the presence of metal cat-ions in a solution, enabling them to create a thin, cohesive metal layer.

The gold coating in gold-plated jewelry is generally quite thin, usually accounting for only about 0.05% to 0.5% of the overall weight of the piece. Because of this thin gold layer, gold-plated jewelry is more budget-friendly but lacks durability when it is compared with solid gold jewelry. With regular usage, gold-plated jewelry is susceptible to wear, tarnishing, and may gradually lose its gold hue day by day.

What is gold-filled jewelry?

Gold-filled jewelry features a thicker layer (usually 2-3 layers) of solid gold that is mechanically bonded or pressed to a base metal core. The gold layer is typically much thicker than that of gold-plated jewelry.

In the United States, gold-filled jewelry is required to contain at least 5% gold by weight, and the gold layer is typically 50 to 100 times thicker than the layer found in gold-plated jewelry.

From the basic definition of these two types of jewelry, we can see both gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry are methods for crafting cost-effective and durable jewelry items that mimic the look of solid gold. Here we will conclude their differences for you to have a better understanding of the jewelry you really want to own.

Gold-Plated Jewelry:

  • Thin Layer of Gold: The gold layer is often just a few microns thick.
  • Affordability: Gold-plated jewelry is more affordable than gold-filled jewelry due to the limited quantity of gold applied in the plating procedure.
  • Durability: Gold-plated jewelry is less durable than gold-filled jewelry. Regular use, exposure to bad store environment, or friction can lead to the gradual wearing away of this thin gold layer, exposing the underlying base metal. And its golden color will fade away, making it looked less charming.
  • Maintenance: To preserve the good look of gold-plated jewelry, you need to avoid certain chemicals (lotion, perfume, sun cream…) and harsh substances, and store it properly to avoid scratches and tarnish.

Gold-Filled Jewelry:

  • Thick Layer of Gold: Gold-filled jewelry is made by wrapping a thicker layer of gold to a base metal (usually brass) through a mechanical process or heat. Typically, the gold layer is around 5-10% of its total weight.
  • Value and Quality: Because it incorporates a larger quantity of gold in its composition, gold-filled jewelry is more valuable and expensive than gold-plated jewelry.
  • Durability: Its thicker layer of gold makes it more durable and resistant to wear and tarnish.
  • Application method – Gold-filled jewelry is adorned with a top metal using a mechanical process that employs heat, whereas gold-plated accessories receive a thin gold layer through a chemical process.”
  • Appearance: Gold-filled jewelry has a beautiful and lasting gold appearance, with the advantage of being more resilient to daily wear and tear. But regular cleaning and proper storage is also necessary.

Gold-filled jewelry offers better quality and durability, whereas gold-plated jewelry is a more budget-friendly choice but might necessitate more regular upkeep and could have a shorter lifespan. The choice between the two depends on your budget, style preferences, and how you intend to wear and care for the jewelry. Besides, you may want to know something about gold-plated jewelrys cleaning and maintenance, we have a detailed instruction, please click the link to read.

Meideya’s  jewelry primarily are 18k gold-plated stainless steel jewelry, which not only offers the advantages of gold-plated pieces but also combines the waterproof and hypoallergenic qualities of stainless steel. Additionally, our jewelry is reasonably priced and durable. By following us, you can purchase your favorite jewelry at the most affordable prices.

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