One quick tip to help you master the art of spotting quality gold straight away? Learn the difference between gold-filled, gold-plated, and solid gold!
It may all sound the same, but I can’t even begin to tell you how much it has helped Chad and I to create better designs just by picking out quality gold.
And here’s the best part—when you know how to tell the difference between quality gold jewelry and so-so gold, you’ll actually be saving yourself a few good bucks. Plus you’ll be investing in timeless, valuable pieces!
So when it comes to gold-filled, gold-plated, and solid gold—what’s the difference?
What is Gold-Filled?
When a piece of jewelry is gold-filled, this means that it has a thick sheet of gold that’s placed onto a base metal of a higher quality (often sterling silver).
Although gold-filled jewelry won’t rub off and has more gold properties than gold-plated jewelry, it can’t be cast or poured into a mold.
However, it is also good to consider that gold-filled is a good choice for people with metal allergies. It also won’t turn green if you wear it often!
What is Gold Plated?
Gold plating is also known as gold vermeil. It’s created with a very thin layer of gold that is electroplated to a base metal with heat.
Gold-plated jewelry is the most affordable option out of the three because it only contains a minimal amount of gold.
However, because gold plated is the lowest quality of gold, take into consideration that gold plated jewelry requires regular re-plating in order to keep its gold appearance.
What is Solid Gold?
Solid gold sounds fancy and expensive, right? That’s because it is! Solid gold is definitely the best quality of gold because it doesn’t fade and is safe for all skin types.
But here’s a fun fact: solid gold is actually too soft to use on its own because it lacks the strengthening compounds. To create a piece of “solid gold” jewelry, pure gold is mixed with different metals resulting in 14K, 18K, and 24K qualities.
Solid gold can also be easily melted down and recycled, making it perfect for experimenting and creating new designs. However, do take note that solid gold is the most expensive form of gold you can get.
What’s the Best Option for Me?
As with any investment, it is important to consider several factors before making any big purchases with gold.
The best option for you would depend mainly on your budget and the purpose of your purchase.
If you’re buying gold in jewelry form already, consider how frequently you’ll be wearing it to prevent discoloration and allergies. If you’re going to use to explore and create designs, look at 14K gold since it’s strong and easy to work with.
Do you want to explore the art of jewelry making? Click here to learn more about our classes and workshops! Open to ages 13 and up.