Here's a list of what we will go over in this post:

  • The manufacturing process
  • Durability
  • Price

When it comes to jewelry, there's no doubt about it – gold is the real deal. But when you're looking for a budget-friendly alternative that still offers up plenty of shine and glamour, what are your options? Gold-plated or gold-tone jewelry are both great choices, but they aren't quite created equal. So let's break it down and make sure you know the difference.



A manufacturer creates gold-plated jewelry by coating a base metal (usually silver or brass) with a thin layer of gold using an electrochemical process. The thickness of the gold layer can vary, but it is typically less than 2.5 microns.

Gold-tone jewelry, on the other hand, combines metals such as copper and zinc to create an alloy with a golden color. The manufacturer uses the resulting alloy to create the jewelry piece. This type of jewelry does not have a protective coating, so it is more prone to tarnishing than gold-plated jewelry.


Most people mix up gold-plated jewelry and gold-tone jewelry. Gold-plated jewelry has a very thin yet genuine gold covering that is about 20 millionths of an inch thick. Gold tone, on the other hand, implies that there is merely the color of gold and no actual gold content.

This means that gold-plated jewelry is more durable than gold-tone jewelry since it has a higher gold content. Gold plating will usually wear off over time, exposing the base metal underneath. However, you can prolong the life of your gold-plated jewelry by properly storing it in a cool, dry place away from moisture and chemicals.

In contrast, gold-tone jewelry will not last as long since it does not have a real gold coating. However, even with the best care, the color will fade quickly, and the jewelry may start to look cheap.


Generally speaking, gold-plated jewelry is more expensive than gold-tone jewelry. This is because creating gold-plated jewelry is more labor intensive and uses more pure gold (an expensive metal). However, it is important to remember that the price of gold-plated jewelry can vary greatly depending on the quality of the gold plating and the underlying metal. For example, a high-quality gold-plated piece made with a solid gold base will be more expensive than a lower-quality gold-plated piece made with a less valuable metal.


There's a big difference between gold-plated and gold-tone jewelry. Gold plating is a process where a thin layer of gold is applied to a base metal, while gold-tone simply refers to jewelry with a golden color.

So, which is better? Well, it all depends on your budget and what you're looking for in jewelry. Gold-tone jewelry is a great option if you're looking for something that looks like real gold without the price tag. On the other hand, if you're willing to spend a little extra for something that will last longer and has a more luxurious feel, then gold-plated jewelry is the way to go.