The Most Significant Differences Between Solid Gold, Gold-Filled, and Gold Plated Jewelry

What is different between the gold-plated jewelry Gold vermeil, gold vermeil, and gold-filled jewelry? What can you do to ensure the gold-tone jewelry you purchase will keep its color for longer than one week? This guide will show you how to buy smart and ensure that you get the most value in exchange for your cash.

There are a variety of methods for creating gold-toned and gold-toned jewelry. Some are more gold-based and maintain their sparkling and full-bodied appearance longer than others. This is why it’s crucial to be aware of the differences.

We’ll show you how to understand these jewelry terms so that you can make smart purchases.

– Solid Gold Jewelry

– Gold Vermeil Jewelry

– Gold-filled Jewelry

– Gold Plated Jewelry

– Flash Plated Jewelry

Solid Gold Jewelry

Description: The creme de la gold-tone jewelry but it is expensive.

Gold items where the inside is not hollow. The karatage (represented by a “k”) will tell you the ratio that gold is in relation to the other metallic elements. Other metals are mixed to create a piece that is stronger and more robust.

Pure gold, 24k Gold, but it’s extremely soft and prone to scratches, which is why it’s not suitable for daily use. It’s also extremely bright and orange-colored

18k gold is the equivalent of 18 parts gold for every 6 parts of other metal (i.e., 75% gold)

14k gold is 14 parts gold to 10 parts of another metal (i.e., 58.3% gold)

Where can you find the item: High end and high-end brands. (We also have it for sale here at Linjer! Take a look at the Solid Gold collection.)

Cost per ounce: Solid gold is the most expensive gold-tone jewelry that you can purchase, and the greater its amount of karatage (the proportion that gold is made up of) and the higher the price it is. Because it’s gold all the way, you don’t have to worry about the gold’s color rubbing away, but you’ll need to be prepared to shell out more, particularly when the pieces are massive and require a lot of material.

Gold Vermeil Jewelry

Description: A high quality version of gold plating, which is an excellent balance between long-lasting wear and affordable.

Note: This warning does not have to pertain for Canadian brands, who might market cheaper gold-plated products under the name “gold vermeil.”

Also known as “heavy gold plating,” gold vermeil is the same procedure as gold plating. To qualify as “vermeil”, the item must be made of sterling silver (aka the 925 silver) in its base material, the gold has to be at least 10K, and the plating should be of an appropriate thickness. The national consumer protection agency regulates the use of the term. The United States, the Federal Trade Commission requires the gold layer to be at least 2.5 millimeters. In Canada there is a Competition Bureau that permits items that have only 1.0 millimeter thick plating to be known as “gold vermeil”. Be wary of purchasing “gold vermeil” from companies located in Canada since the requirements are significantly lower to use this word, and you’re likely to receive a product that is of lower quality (60 percent lesser gold) than what you’d expect.

Where can you find the item: Higher-end brands. 

Price for value:Gold vermeil is more expensive than flash-plated and gold plated jewelry due to the fact that it is made of sterling silver as the primary material, and also uses greater amounts than gold (unless the item is Canadian “gold vermeil”). For those who do not have the money to buy pure gold, it’s the perfect balance between durability and value.

Gold-filled jewelry

Description: Made with an old-fashioned method that is usually more expensive than what it’s worth.

Gold-filled sounds like it’s the next most superior thing to solid gold — your jewelry is brimming with gold, surely? It’s not meaning that thin gold sheets are mechanically joined to the exterior of the core metal (usually copper). In contrast to gold plating is measured in terms of thickness, gold-filled jewelry is measured by weight. The gold layer should make up at least five percent of the weight of the entire item. This is a method that dates back to the early 1900s. It is not used anymore by modern-day manufacturers due to the fact that it’s time-consuming and costly to make, but it produces a product that is not more expensive than jewelry made of gold. As with gold-plated jewelry, the gold layer is eventually worn away, and the only way to restore it is by electroplating (i.e., changing the item into a gold-plated piece).

Where can I find it: Not very popular nowadays but it is still possible to find.

Value in terms of the money you spend: Gold-filled jewelry is generally speaking, more costly than jewelry made of gold made of similar materials due to the fact that it’s not as cost-effective to make.

Gold Plated Jewelry  

Description: Better than flash plating; however, expect a shorter time frame.

Gold plating is the general term used for a process in which the gold layer is attached to a base metal, placing the metal in the solution of a specific chemical and applying an electric current, which attracts and affixes gold ions to the metal. For it to be considered gold-plated, the layer of gold must have a thickness of at the minimum of 0.5 millimeters (a micron refers to one-millionth of one meter, to put it in an example). The more thick the gold layer is, the longer it will keep its final appearance. However, in practice, the majority of jewelry firms are generally plating only 0.5 microns.

Where can you locate it: Discount brand names from department stores and numerous independent brands that sell gold-plated jewelry.

Cost per unit: The price of gold platings can differ. Be sure to inquire about the thickness of the plating. Keep in mind that the more thick the plating is, it will be longer-lasting!

Flash Plated Jewelry

Description: Low high-end jewelry that is not created to last. 

Jewelry that has an extremely small layer of pure gold (<0.175 microns) that is applied via electroplating. It is typically the cheapest material, such as brass. It is the cheapest form of plating that is available. The gold plating is likely to wear off quickly, leaving the item looking dull or stained after just a few uses.

Where can you get it: Fast fashion pieces of jewelry as well as costume jewelry are typically flash plated. If a piece of gold-tone jewelry does not have any specific indication of the way it’s been flash-plated, it’s safe to believe it’s been flash-plated.

Value for money: Flash-plated jewelry is quite affordable; however, it will last less than a couple of wears. It’s not a great investment.

Additional: A word of advice for those who have nickel sensitivities Flash plating typically utilizes nickel as the base. If the gold layer wears off, you may feel itchy!

The Rhodium Plated Jewelry

Description: Rhodium Plated Jewelry is Fine Jewelry, which is plated with Rhodium and retains Solid Gold inside.

It is very sought-after in high-end jewelry. Generally, Rhodium Plating is extensively used with White Gold to give it a more polished appearance and whiter, since White Gold remains to have the yellowish hue due to the consistency of the gold content that naturally gives it a yellow hue, which is the reason why white gold doesn’t have an absolute whiteness without using it being plated with Rhodium Plating to it. Rhodium plating is also applied to Yellow Gold, giving that jewelry piece a two-color effect which makes it appear more appealing and unique. 

Which one should I buy? 

If you’re purchasing jewelry you’d like to keep for many years, be looking to purchase pure gold as well as solid gold. (But make sure you ask the manufacturer about the thickness of the plating in the event that they’re selling products that are marketed as Gold Vermeil.

It’s tempting to purchase flash-plated or gold-plated jewelry since it’s less expensive, but it’s not going to last for all that long. According to our experience, flash plated jewelry will begin to appear shabby after just one week.

Frequently Answered Questions

Q: Reading and other websites like yours provides good info.BUT in the case of gold-filled jewelry, I read it needs to be stamped. i.e., 14kt, or 14ktGF, or there is no stamp for 14kt is required under LAW!

There is an enforceable federal law that says it is required to be stamped when it’s gold-filled only ???? Or is it just an important thing to seek out, and the usa manufacturer didn’t mark or stamp it as it’s not a law? I’ve read that gold with higher content (pure and with lesser fillers) is required to be stamped in usa. But the contradicting information on gold that is filled with gold is making us mad! didn’t provide much information about stamping gold-filled. A lot of gold-filled items that we’ve purchased or are planning to buy do not come with markings or stamps, and so there have been no issues. Can you help us? Is it federal law, and what site does it refer to?

Answer: The answer to your question is”no,” not all gold-filled objects are stamped. Small pieces are not subject to stamping due to space limitations. This is common for finding regardless of their materials. We recommend purchasing gold-filled finds from trusted sellers only.

Q: I have an allergy to various metals and have to wear at least 14kt gold. I am a novice and bought gold-filled wire for experimenting with jewelry fittings and fittings for gifts. What is the best gauge to string beads of 8mm and 10mm?

The answer is: That’s a personal decision. The size of the beads, hole size, overall design of the piece, etc., are all factors that can affect the final design. I’ve never strung beads onto gold-filled wire since it’s a very expensive and hard material. It’s perfect for the wrapping of wire and weaving but. Have you considered using wire strings instead? This kind of wire creates the appearance of a draped, elegant look.

Q: I’m planning on stamping blanks with gold-filled and making jewelry from it. Do you think it’s legal and ethical to stamp gold-filled items and then sell them to the public as gold-filled? In essence, would stamping the blank with gold result in it losing enough gold so that it can not be considered to be gold-filled? Thank you, Whitney

The answer is: When you stamp gold-filled stamps, it reduces the size of it, not removal of the gold-filled. The gold isn’t lost during the process as you would when cleaning it off. I hope that will help!

Question: How long should gold-filled gold keep its gold look? Will it wear off eventually? I’m curious about things like toggle closures, where there’s the rub. 

A: The gold-filled material can be used for many years if it’s taken care of. Its gold-filled layer is extremely thick so gentle rubbing should not cause damage, even though the closures. If it needs cleaning, you can use an easy toothbrush with soap and water to softly scrub it.

Question: Hi, do gold filled items have a scent in the air after a few hours? 

A: I’ve not heard of this ever happening before. You can try using mildly soapy water along with a soft toothbrush for children to scrub gently.

Q: Pertaining to gold filled, does the requirement of 5% only apply to GF produced within the US? Do other places such as China use less, and still be able to call it GF?

A: In the United States, we are governed under the FTC, which stipulates that GF jewelry should contain at least 5% gold alloy weight. Therefore, it is not legal to state that the jewelry piece is GF that is not in compliance with this percentage. The gold layer must be at least 12 karats and the karatage has to be made public. In China, they are governed by AQSIQ, which isn’t as strict in regards to the amount of gold in jewelry made of gold. If you decide to buy jewelry with gold-filled components from a different nation it is recommended that you obtain an endorsement from the manufacturer to verify the gold content within the item. If you were planning to transfer it to the United States and sell it on the American market legally, you are not able to claim it as gold-filled if it isn’t in compliance with FTC specifications. It is recommended that you purchase all the gold-filled items from a trusted source to ensure safety.



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