Gold Filled Vs. Gold Plated Jewelry - Adorned by Ruth

Gold Filled Vs. Gold Plated Jewelry

It can be difficult navigating the myriad of choices in "gold jewelry" these days so we thought we'd lay out a few facts to help you decide which option is best for you.

A/R genuinely cares about how much our customers love our pieces. So, before we launched our brand we kept three main goals in mind:

  • affordability - can we offer pieces that are accessible?
  • quality - will our pieces last?
  • craftmanship - can we be proud of how our jewelry is crafted?

When we researched the gold trends and compared the different types of gold, the choice became clear very quickly. Here's the low down:

Types of gold jewelry

Gold-Filled vs. Gold-Plated Jewelry

As you can see from the chart above, the gold content in these four types of jewelry varies a lot! Due to the current popularity of gold-plated jewelry we’re going to focus on it and compare it more thoroughly to gold-filled jewelry.

Gold-Filled Metal

Gold-filled is a genuine layer of gold permanently bonded onto a core of jewelers’ brass using extreme heat and pressure.  Jewelers’ brass is an alloy (mixture of more than one metal) made up of approximately 90% copper and 10% zinc. 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.

The surface layer of gold is legally required to be 5% or 1/20th gold by weight, making it 100 times thicker than the gold on the surface of gold plated jewelry! Gold-fill is extremely durable, won’t chip or flake, and is tarnish resistant. It looks great and, with proper care, it will last for over 10 years. Gold filled jewelry can also be worn by most people with sensitive skin. Conclusion? While not inexpensive, gold-filled is a beautiful, quality, and more affordable alternative to solid gold.

Gold-Plated Metal

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. Legally, the requirements for gold-plated are vague. Sometimes a piece can be called gold-plated but don’t actually contain any gold at all. As well, the core metal can be brass, steel, or any other undisclosed metal.

The layer of gold in gold-plated jewelry is miniscule compared to gold-filled. One tiny scratch is enough to expose the core of jewelers’ brass underneath. Once the brass is exposed, tarnish quickly sets in. Gold-plated jewelry is not durable enough to withstand exposure to heat, water, or wear for long. Gold-plated is very affordable and is ideal for trendy pieces of jewelry.

Gold-filled vs gold-plated

Gold-Filled Jewelry For the Win!

All factors considered, affordability, quality, and craftsmanship, gold-filled is the obvious choice given our goals here at ADORNED By Ruth. Our hope is that you too will fall in love with this amazing material and enjoy your gold-filled pieces for a long time to come!

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