GOLD FILLED VS. GOLD PLATED VS. GOLD OVERLAY:
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
If you've ever shopped for gold jewelry, you know there are a lot of options out there. But what's the difference between gold-filled, gold-plated, and gold overlay? Here, we'll break down all three types of gold to help you decide which one is right for you.
WHAT IS GOLD-FILLED JEWELRY?
While creating gold-filled jewelry, a base layer (usually brass ) is covered with a thick layer of gold using a high-temperature, high-pressure bonding method. To be sold as gold-filled jewelry, pieces must be at least 10k gold-filled and have a plating that is 2.5 microns thick. According to U.S. regulations, the amount of pure gold in gold-filled jewelry must also weigh at least 1/20th of the total weight of the jewelry to be classified as gold-filled.
Gold-filled is sometimes called "rolled gold plate" and is often confused with gold plating. Gold-filled jewelry is sometimes called "rolled gold" because of its manufacturing process, which involves a layer of gold rolled onto the surface of a base metal using high pressure and heat. This results in gold-filled jewelry that can be up to 100 times thicker than regular gold plating, which is made through an electroplating or a flash plating process.
Gold-filled jewelry is an excellent option for those who want the beauty of gold without paying the higher price associated with solid gold. As the gold layer is thick, gold-filled pieces won't tarnish or fade as easily as other plated jewelry and can last up to 30 years (depending on the amount of jewelry wear and the kind of care it is subject to).
Q: CAN GOLD-FILLED JEWELRY TARNISH?
WHAT IS GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY?
Gold plating is created by placing a thin layer of gold (any karat amount) over a base metal (most commonly made from brass or silver, but it can be anything). The thickness of the gold plating can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but the plating is typically around seven millionths of an inch thick. This equates to a thin layer of gold that is bonded to a base metal through either a flash-plating or electroplating process.
Flash plating is a relatively simple plating process compared to electroplating. Flash plating entails masking off the area that shouldn't be plated with gold and applying a solution containing gold ions. The gold will then adhere to the base metal, creating a very thin layer of gold plating.
Electroplating is a more complex process but produces results that hold up better over time. The process involves immersing the base metal in a solution containing gold ions, attaching electrodes to the item, and then running an electric current through it. This causes the gold ions to be deposited onto the base metal, creating a thin layer of gold plating. The coating is pretty long-lasting as it is common for this type of gold layer (made through electroplating) to last up to two years without requiring a replating.
Gold-plated items are less expensive than solid gold pieces but are more costly than gold-tone jewelry. Gold-plated items are a good option for those who want the look of gold but don't want to pay the hefty price associated with fine jewelry or desire pieces not as heavy or as soft as solid gold (which scratches, dents, and warps easily because of its softness).
Q: IS GOLD PLATED FAKE?
Q: WILL GOLD PLATED JEWELRY FADE?
Q: WILL GOLD PLATED JEWELRY TURN GREEN?
A: Yes, gold-plated jewelry can sometimes turn green. A variety of factors cause the green tint that can appear on gold-plated jewelry. The most common cause is the combination of sweat, body oils, and air pollutants. These substances all contain different metals and acids that can corrode the gold plating, leading to discoloration. Additionally, if the jewelry is exposed to chlorine, it can also cause a green tint.
THE PROS OF GOLD-PLATED JEWELRY:
For starters, gold-plated jewelry is much more affordable than solid gold jewelry. It also offers the same shine and sparkle that comes with solid gold pieces without breaking the bank.
WHAT IS GOLD OVERLAY JEWELRY?
Q: HOW LONG DOES GOLD-TONE JEWELRY LAST?
We hope you enjoyed our blog post, "gold filled vs. gold plated vs. gold overlay." All three types of gold jewelry have pros and cons, so it's important to know what you are looking for before investing in any kind of gold jewelry. First, do your research, consider your budget, lifestyle, and any possible jewelry allergies. Lastly, make sure to ask questions before making a purchase to ensure that you are getting the best quality jewelry for your money. Good luck!