Solid Gold vs Gold Filled vs Gold Plated Jewelry: Which is Best for You?
Gold is one of the most popular metals used in jewelry making, but when you're shopping for a new piece, you may come across terms like "gold filled" and "gold plated". What's the difference, and why should you choose solid gold over these other options? Let's break it down.
Solid gold jewelry is made of, you guessed it, solid gold. The purity of gold is measured in karats, with 24 karat gold being the purest form. When other metals are mixed with gold, it creates an alloy with a lower karat weight. For example, 14 karat gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals like copper and silver. I prefer to use 14k gold for all my gold pieces in the collection because it is quite durable, holds it's shine, and the gold-tone works best with all skin tones because it balances the pinks and yellows of the alloy quite nicely.
Gold filled jewelry is made of a base metal, like brass or copper, with a thick layer of gold bonded to the surface. This makes it more durable than gold plated jewelry, which has a thin layer of gold electroplated onto a base metal. The thickness of the gold is measured in microns, and I like to point out that the thickness of gold in filled or plated jewelry is less than the thickness of a strand of hair. Over time, the gold plating on gold plated jewelry can wear off, revealing the base metal underneath, leading to dulling, changing colors, and tarnishing.
So why should you choose solid gold over gold filled or gold plated jewelry? First, solid gold has lasting value and can be passed down through generations. It has a market value that has continued to rise. In the last 10 years gold's value has increased by over 50%. Talk about a return on investment. Second, solid gold is hypoallergenic, making it a great option for people with sensitive skin. Finally, with proper care and maintenance, solid gold jewelry will last a lifetime.
When you're shopping for gold jewelry, it's important to understand the differences between solid gold, gold filled, and gold plated options. While gold filled and gold plated jewelry can be more affordable, they're not as durable or valuable as solid gold. So when it comes to investing in a piece of jewelry that you'll cherish for years to come, solid gold is the way to go!