What does gold filled mean? Did you know how strong and durable gold-filled necklace, bracelet, ring and earrings are? Here we shed light on this popular jewelry that combines the beauty of gold and the strength of base metal.
What is gold-filled jewelry?
Gold-filled jewelry is composed of sterling silver or base metal — usually brass — that has been covered in solid layer of gold. You may wonder, what is the difference between gold filled and gold plated?
Gold filled vs. gold plated
The answer lies in how thick the layer of gold is, and how strong this adheres to the jewelry. Gold-filled jewelry has a layer of gold 100 times thicker than that of gold plated. At least 1/20 or 5% of gold-filled jewelry is genuine gold.
In addition, while gold-plated jewelry is simply coated with gold, actual pressure is applied on gold-filled jewelry to bond the solid layer of gold fast onto the metal. This prevents gold from easily peeling off. The gold may eventually wear off, especially with constant friction and scratching, but this would take a relatively long time.
How strong is gold-filled jewelry?
Gold is a beautiful metal and yet quite soft. This is the reason why gold is not used in jewellery all on its own, but mixed with other metals. Gold becomes rose gold when mixed with copper, white gold with silver, and yellow gold with brass. Even then, gold is still soft, especially at higher purity or karat.
In contrast, base metals are quite strong. Brass in particular is durable. When brass is used as the core of gold-filled jewelry, you get a fashion accessory that is beautiful as gold, and yet tough as base metal.
How long does gold-filled jewelry last?
Although soft, gold is, not only beautiful, but durable too. Gold does not tarnish. The solid layer of gold on a gold-filled jewelry makes it accordingly durable. Gold-filled jewelry does not tarnish either, and therefore lasts a long time.
Why gold-filled jewelry?
Gold-filled jewelry combines the beauty of gold with the strength of base metal. As a result, not only is gold-filled jewelry as beautiful and classy, but is relatively affordable too. Fine jewelry undoubtedly deserves pure gold; however, if you’re looking for fashion jewelry, such as beaded necklaces and bracelets, gold-filled jewelry would be the smart choice.
When is gold plated as good as gold filled?
There are cases when gold-plated jewelry is good enough. When the layer of gold is protected from external friction by, say, a nylon coating, the gold steadfastly stays on the jewelry.
The bracelet above uses a metal alloy beading wire plated with 24 karat gold. The layer of gold, which would otherwise be quite soft and vulnerable, stays fast to the wire.