Difference Between Solid Gold, Gold Filled, and Gold Plated
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend but for ages gold has been the ultimate symbol of elegance and beauty for both men and women alike. It is therefore important to be aware when purchasing gold jewelry the various terminology that is commonly used. The most popular terms used are solid gold, gold filled, and gold plated when describing pieces of gold jewelry. Solid gold is the most expensive and the highest in quality and purity. Then is ranked gold filled as it allows for a cheaper but still valuable alternative to solid gold. Gold plated, however significantly cheaper than solid gold, allows for quality gold appearing jewelry to me more affordable and accessible to the greater public.
Solid gold jewelry is the highest in price and purity. Solid gold’s value comes from its radiant color and shine. It is also highly valued because it doesn’t tarnish or fade with time. But it is interesting to note that solid gold may not always be the best option when shopping for your desired gold accessory. The downside of pure solid gold is that is a very malleable and soft and is therefore not recommended for jewelry intended for everyday wear.
Often gold is made into an alloy by mixing it with other metals in order to create a stronger metal than pure gold. These alloys are often cheaper than pure gold as the carat (the measure of the purity of the gold) decreases. However, these alloys retain the desirable properties that jewelry wearers desire of pure solid gold- its shine, color, and inability to tarnish- all while creating a more practical metal for jewelry.
When purchasing jewelry a more economical than solid gold but still beautiful option is a gold filled piece. Jewelers create gold filled jewelry by pressure bonding an actual layer of gold to another metal. Although a gold filled piece of jewelry is not sold gold, it has the same desirable properties and look of solid gold.
It won’t tarnish and will not rub off or turn colors. Wearers who are sensitive to certain metals can wear gold filled without worries of an allergic reaction. Although the layer of gold in gold filled pieces varies depending on the manufacturer it is in all cases significantly thicker than regular gold plating (the next category of gold jewelry). Gold filled accessories can be worn even daily without fear of fading or rubbing off for many cases as long as 30 years.
Gold Plated jewelry is the best option for wearers who are jewelry obsessed but need to stay in a budget (pretty much everyone out there). It gives the impression of luxury while not causing you to break the bank every time you see a cute, trendy necklace or bracelet. Gold plated jewelry is made by using electricity or chemicals to deposit and bond a very thin layer of gold over another metal. This process creates a layer as thin as 1/1000 to 3/1000 of an inch of gold over a more affordable metal, usually silver or copper.
The downside of gold plating is that the gold layer fades and tarnishes over time. The reason being that molecules of the base metals slowly transfer into the thin layer of gold causing it to break down. For tips on how to prolong the life of your gold plated jewelry check out our handy tip “Tips On Caring For Your Gold Plated Jewlery.”
What to Buy?
When debating over whether to purchase solid gold, gold filled, or gold plated several factors should be taken into consideration. Solid gold, even gold alloys, despite their higher price tags are great for romantic gifts for a truly special someone. It also makes for a great investment as solid gold retains its value and forever will hold its allure in the world of jewelry. Gold filled, although not as valuable as solid gold, is still a great option for gift giving and accessories you love. You shouldn't discredit gold plated jewelry. It allows you to dress up with all the latest, hottest jewelry trends without causing you to stress out too much about the cost. Looking like a million bucks doesn't always have to cost it. Just don’t be shocked when your most beloved gold plated piece you wear every day starts to lose its sheen. Gold plated pieces still make the perfect present for a friend or someone you care about.