There are so many different terms used when referring to gold and “gold” jewelry. It can become very confusing to many people. Gold has always been a trademark of beauty and a symbol of status. However, in today’s jewelry industry, all gold is not the same. Now we use the terminology such as solid gold, gold filled, and gold plated when referencing different jewelry items. So how do you know the difference between the three? The most significant difference is that solid gold is real gold all the way through and therefore is more expensive. Gold filled and gold plated are both cheaper alternatives than solid gold, as they are not real gold through and through. Let’s break down each one.
Solid Gold Jewelry
Gold in its purest form (24k) is soft and scratches easily. Alloys are produced by mixing pure gold with a variety of other metals to create a structurally sound metal. The number reveals the percentages of actual gold mixed into the alloy in each piece. 14kt gold consists of 14 parts pure gold mixed with 10 parts other metal, to make a total of 24 parts. We work with 14kt solid gold because we love the balance of the warm glow and the durability for everyday wear.
Gold Filled Jewelry
Gold filled jewelry gives the appearance of real gold jewelry, but it only contains a layer of solid gold. The layer of solid gold is mechanically bonded to a base of another non-precious metal or mix of metals. Over the years, this layer of gold will eventually wear off and expose the base metal.
Gold Plated Jewelry
Gold plated jewelry has a similar layering design to gold filled, but it is a much thinner layer. The layer can be as thin as 1/1000 of an inch of solid gold bonded over silver or cooper. This gold layer will fade and tarnish over time as the base metals slowly transfer into the thin layer and break it down.