Gold-Filled vs Plated

What's the difference between Gold-Filled vs Plated?

Have you ever asked this? If so, you are not alone! Most people are not aware of the differences between these two processes. So, to help, here is a little information.

Every design in the De Luxe Collection is custom made using 14/20 14k Gold Filled or  Solid Sterling Silver metals. We choose to work with this particular metal type because we wanted to use a budget-friendly alternative to solid 14K gold. Gold-Filled generally lasts much longer than most electroplated jewelry. 

What is Gold-Filled? Gold-filled is a layered gold product. Such layer cannot be worn off like gold plated jewelry will. You can shower, bathe and swim with your favorite necklaces & bracelets from the De Luxe Collection. The product is easy to care for and will maintain its golden shine for a lifetime!

Gold-filled is constructed in two or three layers. The core metal is jewelers’ brass. A gold alloy is then bonded to one or both surfaces of the brass core with heat and pressure. Unlike plated (aka electroplated or "dipped") metals, Gold-filled is legally required to contain 5% or 1/20 gold by weight. This 5% is then described by the karats of the gold alloy. Our Gold-filled items are 14/20  14K Gold-Filled.

So, What is Gold Plate? – Gold plating is a minuscule layer of solid gold applied to a brass base. The plating does not compose any measurable proportion of the products total weight. It is estimated to be 0.05% or less of the metal product. Gold plating will generally eventually wear off and expose the brass base product. It does not stand up to heat, water or wear over time.

(Bonus note: Gold Plate is not to be confused with "Vermeil" (pronounced vehr-MAY), which is a thicker level of gold plating over sterling silver rather than a base metal. To truly qualify as Vermeil, the plating should be a minimum of 2.5 microns thick and always over sterling silver.)

The Difference Between Gold-Filled and Solid Gold

Solid gold is an alloy that is described with the karats of pure gold. Pure gold is 24K. However, it is much too soft to hold its shape or wear well. Therefore, it is mixed or alloyed with other metals to make it harder and easier to work with. Karats refers to the alloy’s purity. For example, 8 karat gold is 8/24 pure gold or 33.3% pure. Gold-filled is not the same as solid gold. It is a layered alternative product. The gold-filled karats refers to the gold layers that compose 5% of the product on the surface.

Care and Cleaning
Gold-filled does not de-laminate or peel like plated or "dipped" products. Nor does it tarnish as readily as silver. Many owners find that they never have to clean gold-filled items at all. However, from time to time your jewelry may become dirty from everyday wear. To clean gold-filled it is best to use mild soap and water. Hot weather and water will not damage the material.

Generally speaking, gold filled is better quality and will have a much longer lasting color than plated jewelry.