3 Reasons Gold Filled Jewelry is Trending: Difference Between Gold Filled, Gold Plated, & Solid Gold
Gold filled jewelry has been making a huge impact recently in the industry. It sounds cheap, right? You want the best jewelry that will not tarnish or decay in the next 5 to 10 years. So, what’s the difference between gold filled, gold plated, and just plain gold jewelry? Don’t worry, angel, we over all the differences and why we highly recommend gold filled like the rest of the community. Making a breakthrough on the concerningly-addicting app, TikTok, gold filled jewelry made people across the nation realize they can actually afford to look elegant and fancy without spending hundreds of hard-earned dollars; especially during the pressures of finances of the pandemic. Gold filled jewelry can make you in trend without spending a fortune.
Gold filled jewelry is the best option when checking off durability, easy-care, and style. It is almost as durable as solid gold, and much more than gold plated. It is extremely easy to care for even if you wear your gold filled bracelet every single day. Additionally, it gives the look of wealth without spending a fortune or leaving that dreaded green stain on your skin. Gold filled jewelry is sold at almost the same price of gold plated and a fraction of the price of solid gold with almost all the same benefits discussed further on in this blog. With that said, the most reasonable option to invest your hard-earned money is with gold filled jewelry. Gold filled and solid gold both last decades, are easy to care for, and illuminate the impression of prestige; but gold filled is just cheaper priced since it contains more metals inside the thick outer layer of gold.
This goes hand-in-hand with how easy it is to care for. You can shower, bathe, swim, workout, etc all while wearing a gold filled piece of jewelry. While other metal jewelry is not, this is the main reason you may see a green stain on your skin after a bit of wearing cheaper-made jewelry. However, the thick outer layer of gold protects this from occurring giving an ease-of-mind. When your gold filled jewelry is wet, although it is safe to air dry, we recommend gently patting it dry as an extra precaution to reach the maximum 30 year life expectancy. Furthermore, care instructions are detailed below; however, it is still emphasized to not take advantage of this incredible feature and treat it as gently as possible with gentle soap and a soft drying cloth.
3. Hypoallergenic to Most
“To most?” you may be asking in your head. Yes. Unless you have a previous knowledge of being allergic to gold, you should be fine wearing gold filled jewelry. However, since gold filled does contain other metals inside, if tarnished along the years, exposing these metals, precautions should be followed. In addition, if you know you are allergic to gold, which is uncommon, gold filled or gold jewelry in general may not be the best option for you. This is most common in jewelry that contains nickel in the gold (white gold). Charles and Colvard mention, “To avoid any potential allergies, opt for 14k Gold or higher, which is purer and less likely to trigger a reaction”. If you are still afraid of allergic reactions, the only way to avoid this is by saving up for a platinum or tantalum piece as they are both precious metals with the highest amount of purity to avoid any irritations. In conclusion, gold filled jewelry is still a great option for those who want to relish in the “boujee” look without dealing with the rash cheaper jewelries may cause.
Gold Filled Jewelry is a Must-Have
Gold filled jewelry is not just stylish and affordable, but it is water resistant, hypoallergenic to most, and durable. To be more specific, it is “is a layer of solid gold bonded to a core metal, usually jewellers brass, under enormous heat and pressure. For an item to be regarded as gold filled it must have a gold content of more than 5% of the item weight” according to Britten anthology. In other words, it is a thick layer of gold surrounding an inner metal for a durable and long-lasting finish that you would similarly get from a solid gold piece. If you are wondering if it is actually durable and worth it, take its life expectancy into consideration. Gold filled jewelry typically lasts anywhere from 10 to 30 years. That is incredible for affordable jewelry! That means it can be passed down to loved ones and still look new if purchased in your 20s or 30s. Gold filled jewelry heirlooms give an authentic vintage look without seeming dated.
Although gold filled jewelry is substantially resistant to tarnishing, it should still be treated with care. Not that you should throw around any jewelry, if you want gold filled pieces to last for your future children to see, follow these simple precautions (these are only necessary if you feel your jewelry is dirty):
Gently soak in warm water and non-abrasive soap
Use a soft cloth to clean out any grit in hard-to-reach places (we recommend a soft-bristle toothbrush)
Gently pat dry
It is quite simple to care for and definitely worth all the benefits. So how about those with sensitive skin and suffer from allergic reactions to some metals? Although you know yourself better than anyone, gold filled jewelry should not be an irritant to those who are not sensitive to gold in the first place. Since the layer of gold is so thick, it protects your sensitive skin from the inner metals incase that is a worry.
An added benefit of gold filled jewelry is the affordability. Gold is very much in trend this season but budgets are low due to the effects of the unfortunate pandemic. Luckily for you, gold filled is viewed as classy, a sign of wealth, and can not be distinguished from solid gold easily. Moreover, purchasing gold filled jewelry is a fraction of the price of solid gold, much more durable than gold plated (and not too different from solid gold’s durability), and will last you decades even with daily wearing. Gold filled jewelry is a necessity in your collection.
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Keep Gold Plated Jewelry in the Past
Gold plated jewelry is like the ugly cousin of gold filled jewelry. It is not that durable and does not offer much. We only recommend gold plated to those who are on an extremely tight budget and under 20 years old. However, since the gold rim is much thinner, precautions of metal allergies should be taken into account. Simple & Dainty put it best when explaining, “Gold plated jewelry is a very light layer of gold - 0.05% actual gold or less - on top of a base metal (usually brass or copper). The thin layer of gold is plated onto the base metal to create gold plated jewelry. Since the gold plating is very thin, the gold can rub off easily”. It is the best option for those with a very tight budget and do not care too much about a lasting impression. We do not recommend this type as it can make you appear cheap, lazy, and childish. We all remember buying a mood ring from Claire’s and winding up with a green rim on our fingers. Is that what you want at 20 or 30 years old with thin gold flakes chipping on your dress?I think otherwise.
Gold plated jewelry typically lasts only for 2 years. An extreme difference from gold filled’s lifespan. We recommend spending the few extra dollars as an investment on you! With that said, those with sensitive skin should be wary of this as the base metal can be exposed quite easily. We do not recommend getting gold plated jewelry wet, even from a sprits of perfume. It is essential to take off when showering or going for a swim to not shorten the already stunted life of it. For the longest duration of wearability, we think following steps written from Gold Plating Services are ideal:
“Remove gold plated jewelry before swimming or exercising
Put on gold plated jewelry after cosmetics have been absorbed
Do not spray perfume on gold plated jewelry
Very gently clean your gold plated jewelry
Buff gold plated jewelry with a microfiber cloth
Keep gold plated jewelry in a plastic bag”
We recommend looking at their website for further information on care and why they offer such advice. As you wear a gold plated piece more and more often, even those without an allergy should be cautious of the "green stain horror"! Okay we hyped that up a little too much, but as we joked about before, green stains on the skin are never a pleasant sight and always a sign of cheap jewelry which reflects on you. First impressions really are everything and although it may seem small, some may judge your sense of style (although we think those people don’t deserve you if they judge over such small matters). Overall, gold plated jewelry should be viewed as a last resort.
Solid Gold Jewelry is Not Worth the Money
I mean, it is what it is, and no that was not a reference to the meme. Solid gold jewelry is the most prestigious of the gold family. With that said, it can feel heavy and give the impression of luxury, intelligence, and class. This is for those who have a higher budget or are just a jewelry connoisseur. However, it may shock you to hear that solid gold jewelry is, well, not all gold. According to Gold Plating Services, “In spite of what the name implies, solid gold jewelry is rarely made exclusively of gold. Rather, it is a gold alloy that is consistent throughout the entire piece of jewelry. An alloy with low purity will contain greater amounts of alternative metals and less gold than high-purity alternatives”. Do you feel ripped-off? No need to, it is still solid gold jewelry that is higher quality than any of the others previously mentioned and the most sought after for gold jewelry.
It may shock you once again to hear that the lifespan of the lower purity beloved solid gold jewelry is the exact same as gold filled jewelry (10 to 30 years); even more of a reason to invest in gold filled. The highest purity, 24K gold lasts a lifetime. However, it is important to understand the levels of purity attributed to solid gold. Jewelry Notes says, “Purity is usually measured in karats (abbreviated as K), with 24-karat gold being the purest.Jewelry marked “14K” has a purity of 14 karats, meaning that it contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals. Purity can also be expressed as a percentage. For example, a 22-karat ring contains 22 parts gold out of 24, which is equal to 91.7% gold content; this level of purity may be indicated using the number 917 stamped on the piece”. So, it is important to study up on what makes each level of purity worth its price. For the best of the best, go for 24K gold pieces. The lowest level of purity to still be considered solid gold is 10K according to the United States Guidelines.
While you may think it is just because of the price that 24K gold is not seen worn often, it is actually because of how gold is in general. Gold is a very delicate substance making it that much more exciting to handle and wear. Unfortunately, this means it is easily warped and scratched. This is why it is more desirable to purchase, say, 14K gold as the other metals mixed in make the piece more durable overall. We will outline the steps it takes to care for the softest yet purest gold (24K), though by following Estate Diamond Jewelry’s Guidelines:
“Soak in warm water and a gentle soap (unless there is a gemstone)
If there is dirt stuck in crevasses, let soak for about 20 minutes
Get professionally cleaned if necessary”
In conclusion, solid gold jewelry is really only worth it over gold filled jewelry if you care that much about it and are dedicated enough to care for pure gold to last a lifetime. Otherwise, we strongly recommend gold filled. With whichever you choose, you’ll be dazzling. Happy shopping, angel!
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