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Article: Gold-Plated vs. Gold-Filled Jewelry: What's the Difference and Which is Right for You?

Gold-Plated vs. Gold-Filled Jewelry: What's the Difference and Which is Right for You?

Gold-Plated vs. Gold-Filled Jewelry: What's the Difference and Which is Right for You?

GAYA pendant with ANATOLE choker

When it comes to jewelry, there are a variety of options available, including gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry. While they may seem similar, there are distinct differences between the two.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at what sets gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry apart and help you decide which one might be the best fit for you.

What is Gold-Plated Jewelry?

kara gold plated necklace

Kara necklace

Gold-plated jewelry is a type of jewelry that has a layer of gold applied to its surface. The base metal used for gold-plated jewelry can vary, but at Agapé studio we use hypoallergenic brass.

The gold layer on our gold-plated jewelry is 3 microns of gold while some of our other competitors produce jewelry with typically very thin layer, usually measuring between 0.5 and 1.5 microns (or millionths of a meter). 

The process of applying gold plating to jewelry involves electroplating. The base metal is submerged in a solution containing gold ions and then an electric current is passed through the solution, causing the gold ions to attach to the surface of the base metal.

This process results in a thin layer of gold being deposited onto the surface of the jewelry.

The Advantages of Gold-Plated Jewelry Include

Lalo earcuff

Cost-effective: Gold-plated jewelry is much less expensive than solid gold jewelry. This makes it a great option for those who want the look of gold without the high price tag.

Wide variety of designs: Because gold plating can be applied to a variety of metals, gold-plated jewelry comes in a wide range of designs and styles.

Hypoallergenic: Many gold-plated jewelry pieces are hypoallergenic, meaning they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. This is because the gold layer acts as a barrier between the skin and the base metal.

Easy to care for: Gold-plated jewelry is relatively easy to care for and can often be cleaned with a soft cloth.

While gold-plated jewelry is an affordable and attractive option, it does have some limitations. The thin layer of gold can wear off over time, especially if the jewelry is exposed to moisture, sweat, or harsh chemicals.

Additionally, the base metal used in gold-plated jewelry may tarnish or discolor over time. With proper care and maintenance, however, gold-plated jewelry can last for years and provide an affordable and stylish alternative to solid gold jewelry.

What Is Gold-Filled Jewelry?

Tortis earrings

Gold-filled jewelry is made by bonding a layer of gold alloy to a base metal using heat and pressure. The layer of gold used in gold-filled jewelry is typically thicker than the layer of gold used in gold-plated jewelry, usually around 5% or 1/20th of the total weight.

This means that gold-filled jewelry contains more gold and is generally more valuable than gold-plated jewelry.

Here are some additional things to know about gold-filled jewelry:

  • Gold-filled jewelry must contain at least 5% gold by weight in order to be classified as gold-filled.
  • Gold-filled jewelry is considered a high-quality, affordable alternative to solid gold jewelry.
  • Gold-filled jewelry is also considered hypoallergenic, as the base metal used in gold-filled jewelry is typically nickel-free.
  • Unlike gold-plated jewelry, gold-filled jewelry can be polished and repaired without the risk of removing the layer of gold.

What Are the Differences Between Gold-Plated and Gold-Filled Jewelry?

Lya ring

Now that we have an understanding of what gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry are let's take a closer look at the differences between the two:

The layer of gold

As mentioned earlier, gold-plated jewelry has a layer of gold that is applied to the surface of the base metal using electroplating. This layer of gold is typically much thinner than the layer of gold used in gold-filled jewelry, usually around 0.05% or 1/2000th of the total weight.

On the other hand, gold-filled jewelry has a layer of gold that is bonded to the base metal using heat and pressure, and this layer is usually around 5% or 1/20th of the total weight.

Durability

Due to the difference in the thickness of the gold layer, gold-filled jewelry is generally more durable and longer-lasting than gold-plated jewelry. The layer of gold in gold-plated jewelry can wear off over time with regular wear and tear, exposing the base metal underneath.

However, at Agapé Studio, we craft our gold-plated jewelry with a 3-micron layer that is thicker than the usual standard, making our jewelry more durable and longer-lasting.

Value

Sophia ring

Gold-filled jewelry is generally more valuable than gold-plated jewelry due to the higher percentage of gold used in its production. However, the price of gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry can vary greatly depending on factors such as the quality of the materials used and the design of the jewelry.

As you can see, both gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry have their own unique characteristics and benefits. At Agapé Studio, we believe that our customers deserve the best, and we strive to deliver the highest quality products possible.

Gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry may have similar appearances, but they differ in their composition and price points. So, how do you know which one to choose? Here are some factors to consider when deciding between gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry:

Composition

Gold-plated jewelry is made by coating a base metal with a thin layer of gold, while gold-filled jewelry is made by bonding a thick layer of gold to a base metal using heat and pressure.

Gold-filled jewelry typically contains a higher percentage of gold than gold-plated jewelry, which means it's less likely to tarnish or wear off over time.

Price

Fand pendant and Pierra choker

Gold-plated jewelry is typically less expensive than gold-filled jewelry, making it a more affordable option for those who want the look of gold without the high price tag. However, it's important to note that gold-plated jewelry may need to be replaced more frequently due to wear and tear.

Durability

Gold-filled jewelry is more durable than gold-plated jewelry due to its thicker layer of gold. At Agapé Studio, we craft our gold-plated jewelry with a 3-micron layer, which is thicker than the standard 1-2 microns used by many other jewelry brands.

This means our gold-plated jewelry is more durable and less likely to tarnish or wear off over time.

When it comes to choosing between gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry, it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and budget. However, if you're looking for a more affordable option that still offers durability and a luxurious look, our gold-plated jewelry with a 3-micron layer is a great choice.

It offers the perfect balance of quality and affordability, making it an obvious choice for those who want to elevate their style without breaking the bank.

Got Questions? We've Got Answers About Gold-Plated and Gold-Filled Jewelry

gold plated earrings

Paolina earrings

What is the difference between gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry?

Gold-plated jewelry is made by coating a base metal, such as brass or copper, with a thin layer of gold through a chemical or electroplating process.

Gold-filled jewelry, on the other hand, is made by bonding a thicker layer of gold to a base metal using heat and pressure. Gold-filled jewelry is generally more durable and longer lasting than gold-plated jewelry.

How do I keep my gold-plated jewelry from fading?

To keep your gold-plated jewelry looking its best, you should:

  • Avoid exposing it to water, sweat, and chemicals like perfume and hairspray.
  • Store it in a dry place, preferably in an airtight container or a jewelry box with anti-tarnish strips.
  • Clean it regularly with a soft, dry cloth to remove any dirt or oil buildup.

How do I polish my gold-plated jewelry?

gold plated earrings

To polish your gold-plated jewelry, you can use a soft, non-abrasive cloth and gently rub it in a circular motion to remove any tarnish or discoloration. Avoid using any harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as they can damage the gold plating.

How do I take care of my gold-plated jewelry?

To take care of your gold-plated jewelry, you should:

  • Store it in a dry place, away from moisture and direct sunlight.
  • Avoid wearing it during activities that may cause it to come into contact with hard surfaces or other objects that may scratch or damage the gold plating.

Why should I choose Agapé Studio's gold-plated jewelry?

gold plated ring

Paloma ring

Agapé Studio's gold-plated jewelry is crafted with a 3-micron layer that is thicker than the industry standard, making it more durable and longer lasting. Additionally, our jewelry is eco-friendly and hypoallergenic, making it a safe and responsible choice for those with sensitive skin. We also offer a 2-year warranty on all of our jewelry, so you can feel confident in your purchase.

Can gold-plated jewelry turn your skin green?

A: It's possible for gold-plated jewelry to cause a green discoloration on the skin, especially if the jewelry is of lower quality or if the wearer has particularly sensitive skin.

This reaction is caused by the base metal, such as nickel reacting with the wearer's body chemistry. However, at Agapé Studio, we use high-quality materials and a thick 3-micron gold layer to minimize the risk of this happening.

Is gold-filled jewelry more expensive than gold-plated?

A: Yes, gold-filled jewelry is typically more expensive than gold-plated jewelry due to the higher amount of gold used in the production process.

Gold-filled jewelry is made by bonding a layer of gold to a base metal, such as brass or copper, through heat and pressure. The gold layer in gold-filled jewelry is thicker than that of gold-plated jewelry and can last longer.

Can you wear gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry in the shower?

A: It's best to avoid wearing any type of jewelry in the shower, including gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry.

Moisture can damage the jewelry and cause it to tarnish or lose its shine. Additionally, harsh chemicals found in soaps, shampoos, and other personal care products can also cause damage to the jewelry.

Make an Informed Decision: Choosing the Right Type of Gold Jewelry for Your Style and Budget

Cyra earcuff and Ariane earrings

Gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry are both popular options for those who want the look of gold without the high price tag of solid gold jewelry. While they share some similarities, there are also key differences between the two.

By understanding these differences and considering your personal preferences and lifestyle, you can make an informed decision about which type of jewelry is right for you.

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