One of the most frequently asked questions I get from my customers is what is the difference between solid gold, gold filled and gold plated. You might have asked yourself "isn't Gold-filled the same as Gold-Plated?". Well the answer is no.
The following picture explains in simple terms the differences without getting into technical details, like % of weight and the processes.
SOLID GOLD: Pure Gold. 24 karat is soft, so typically alloyed (combined) with another metal to hold up for daily wear. Ranges from 14k-24k rating.
GOLD FILLED: Thick layer of gold heat or pressure bonded to a core of sterling silver, copper, brass. Gold-filled is not to be confused with Gold Vermeil or Gold Plated as there are 50 to 100 times more gold in a Gold-filled product than in a Gold Plated one (Gold-filled is legally required to contain at least 5% of solid gold by weight).
GOLD VERMEIL: The base is usually Sterling Silver, like in Gold Filled metals, but contrary to Gold Filled where the gold is bonded, the Gold Vermeil metals have the gold plated on the Sterling Silver metal, and the gold layer is usually thinner compared to the Gold Filled metals.
GOLD PLATED: A very thin layer of gold often electroplated to base metal like copper or brass. Gold can rub off, exposing the base metal and discolor skin.
WHY GOLD FILLED IS OUR PREFERRED OPTION
We offer 14k Gold Filled, Gold Vermeil, and Sterling Silver jewelry in most of our pieces, as value and quality are very important to us. All of our ear-wires are made with 14k Gold Filled, Sterling Silver, or Gold Vermeil. There are few exceptions on some of our pieces and/or components that are made with 14k Gold Plated so we can fit different types of budgets, and offer other options, from a price perspective point. Gold Filled is a quality economical alternative to solid gold, as it is more valuable and durable than Gold Vermeil, and Gold Plated. It can be washed easily and it does not flake, fade nor change color. Anyone who can wear solid gold can wear gold filled without any risk of allergy (even for earrings). Gold Filled hits a nice sweet spot of quality, durability, and price between solid gold and gold plating. It is as safe as solid gold, at a significantly lower price, for those who have a sensitivity to certain metals, like nickel. Yes...all of our jewelry pieces, including the gold plated ones, are Nickel Free. :)
Here are some of our 14k Gold Filled pieces:
and here are some of the 14k gold plated pieces we offer:
Hope this helps, and do please comment or contact us with any questions or additional information on any of our jewelry pieces. XX-K