Monday, September 21, 2009

Gold Filled vs. Gold Plated

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Gold plated jewelry and Gold filled? I've had several people ask me lately who thought they were the same thing. I figured if they are asking, some of you might have questions about it too.

Gold plated jewelry is the low end of Gold use. It will cost you the least, but it will also last a shorter length of time. It is perfectly fine for things you don't wear often but eventually the Gold will wear off. It is made by dipping the pieces into a special bath that contains a small amount of Gold. A current is run through the bath that makes the Gold adhere to the base metal. The base metal can be just about anything so if you have allergies, it's not a good idea to go with plated items.

Gold filled jewelry is a mid priced use of Gold. It costs more than plated and less than say, 18K or 24K pieces. MUCH less! I use it for my better pieces simply because it keeps them affordable. A single pair of comparable ear wires in 14K Gold will cost over $50, so obviously, I don't have those in my "stash"! Gold filled items are made by rolling a sheet of Gold around a center core of base metal. The weight of the Gold must be at least 1/20 of the total weight. This results in a thicker amount of Gold on a piece. It is worth more and will last much longer than plated. I have never had a filled piece wear through to the core metal yet.

Personally, I use a lot of plated findings, especially where the piece will not be in contact with the skin. It just keeps the cost down for both of us. There is always the option to upgrade to 14K Gold filled ear wires. I do use filled wires on many of my better earrings.

Hope this clears up the mystery for you if you were confused about it.

I'm off to create, or mow the lawn, or ugh - clean house!


skaro964 said...

Thank you for the information.

Stef H (Glitterbabe) said...

wow! i never knew any of this. ever think about opening up a small jewely shop? i'll just bet you'd not only be great at it, but it would be super for you too. but that's just my opinion.

and if i lived nearby i would work there too!


Sandy said...

Stef - I have a shop at Cross Roads craft market. It's my Saturday "thing".

maxine said...

Hi a lovely blog, thanks for poping over to the crafty pad and leaving us a lovely comment.

Kay said...

Thanks for the "lesson". I had wondered about the difference before, but didn't know who to ask.