When looking for your wedding ring, a slew of unfamiliar phrases like gold-plated and gold filled ring are thrown at you all at once. What might white gold, karats, hypoallergenic, and tarnishing possibly imply, and is it really that significant? Even while a piece of jewelry may appear to be filled with gold, it may only be gold-plated. Let’s examine the differences between gold-plated and gold-filled rings and how to tell them apart.
What is Gold Plated Jewelry?
Gold-plated jewelry is made from a base metal, such as copper or brass. The nickel layer is then applied to serve as a “buffer” between the gold plating and the metal base after the base metal has been rinsed, cleaned, and shaped. The nickel-plated base is delivered into a gold plating tank using electroplating in the final step.
However, there is no quantitative percentage of the total weight of the jewelry that can be attributed to the plating. In fact, a plated item often contains less than 0.05% of its total weight in gold. Gold plating often loses its endurance over time and cannot withstand heat, water, or wear.
What is Gold Filled Jewelry?
Jewelry that is “pressure bonded” to a core metal using pressure and heat contains an actual layer of gold. Gold filled jewelry is required by law to include 1/20 or 5% gold by weight, as opposed to electroplated (dipped or plated) metals. The gold layer on the jewelry is 10k or more in karats.
Gold filled jewelry is substantially thicker than gold plated jewelry, but solid gold still reigns supreme. These pieces of jewelry can be made out of brass, copper, or silver as the base metal. The cost of gold filled jewelry is frequently more expensive than that of gold plated items because gold filling is significantly more intense and uses more gold.
What is Solid Gold Jewelry?
Solid gold jewelry is fully composed of the precious metal gold. The percentage of 24k gold in a piece of jewelry might vary depending on the gold’s karat. Although most expensive, it is also the most robust. The pieces you see in items are solid (10k, 14k, and 18k) gold, which we stock in abundance. Based on the size of the piece and the carat of gold utilized, these prices often start at around $100 and increase from there.
Look the simple gold stackable ring, which is composed of 14k gold filled and costs roughly $35, to better illustrate the price difference. It would cost approximately $135 in solid 14k gold. The production time for each ring is about the same, but the gold cost of solid gold jewelry is much higher.
How do I decide what to buy?
Consider the following aspects while choosing between gold-plated and gold-filled ring.
Gold-plated ring will start to tarnish once the base metal is visible due to the thin layer of gold that eventually fades off. On the other hand, gold-filled ring will only tarnish under very specific situations. Even though gold filled ring is an alloy, the thick coating prevents tarnishing despite the fact that pure gold ring tarnishes very little. We advise owners to clean their gold-filled jewelry with mild soap and water or untreated cotton. Only clean gold-plated jewelry if it is absolutely necessary. To clean your gold items, use a cotton ball to clean instead of scrub.
Before purchasing a gold-filled or gold-plated ring, it’s also crucial to understand how sensitive your skin is. Are metals like copper, rhodium, silver, or brass allergens for you? If so, buying gold-filled jewelry might be a good idea as you won’t have to worry about an allergic reaction. We say this because gold plating might be made of less expensive basic materials that could cause your skin to irritate or develop an allergy. With alternatives made of gold filled, you won’t experience this issue.
Due to the thicker coating of the alloy, gold filled jewelry is more durable than gold plated rings, as we already mentioned. However, the climate, the jewelry’s quality, and wear exposure all affect how long last in total. Gold filled jewelry can last a lifetime if it is well-maintained. While gold-plated items can endure up to a year if they are maintained away from the water, wear, and heat. Also worth considering is the possibility that gold filled items with lower karat weights (9–14k) will hold up better over time than those with higher gold contents. However, solid gold or white gold must be the best long-lasting option for signet rings if the ring is worn frequently or prepared to hand down to future generations. Although silver is a fantastic option for some, it will most certainly wear out and deform sooner than (white) gold because it is a softer metal.
Make sure your bank or PayPal account has enough funds to support your purchase before making a purchasing decision. Gold-filled ring is typically more expensive, whereas gold-plated ring is less expensive since only a thin layer of gold is used to create the “look of gold.” Because of this, most fashion jewelry is gold-plated so that it can be more widely available and sold at reduced prices.
Top 5 Gold Filled Rings For Women
Gold Filled Rings Round Shaped White Opal Birthstone Ring
October babies and anyone who enjoys the exquisite color play of opal should own this Opal Ring. This minimalist ring consists a thin gold ring and a white opal, making it a statement ring. At any occasion, from a weekend breakfast with friends to an evening at your favorite musical, this ring will make you the center of attention.
14k Gold Filled Rings Twist Ring in Metal 14K Gold Filled
Our Twist Ring has rich symbolic meaning in addition to its beautiful value. It shows the inseparable connection between your present and your future. The weaving pattern represents your journey up to this point and your future goals.
Stacking Ring 14k Gold Filled Ring Three Stone CZ Ring
The Triple Diamond Ring is a must-have piece of jewelry. This ring has just the right amount of sheen to wear by itself as a statement piece or stacked with your other favorites to increase the glitter. Ideal for both looking your utmost best on special occasions and everyday use.
Round Shaped Emerald-Colored Cubic Zirconia Ring Birthstone Ring Gold Filled
Emerald is the birthstone for May. For May infants, this birthstone ring is ideal. For May birthdays, this gorgeous stacking ring is an elegant and affordable gift. You can wear it to shower and go to bed because it is 14k gold filled.
14k Gold Filled Ring Thick Flat Band Ring
It’s delicate enough for daily usage while also being robust enough to handle normal workout wear and tear. The yellow gold ring is made to last and can be used in a number of situations. It looks fantastic stacked with other rings or on its own.
How To Know If a Ring Is Gold Plated Or Filled?
There are two ways to tell if a ring is filled or plated gold, but both call for professional help.
The traditional method is to conduct an acid test, in which a little amount of acid is applied to the ring to determine if it is gold plated or gold filled. If it is plated, the acid will immediately dissolve the plating, indicating to the consumer that they are in possession of a gold-plated ring.
The other way is to have the ring “electronically tested” with a tool that can measure how thick the gold alloy is. The majority of skilled jewelry producers have access to this device. Despite this, some individuals continue to use markers, stamps, and other distinguishing features to discern whether a ring is made of gold-plated or gold-filled.
Note: It’s likely that a piece of jewelry is gold filled rather than gold plated if the seller promises that the gold surface will last for a certain number of years (even if this is not a foolproof method of determining the gold type).
Additionally, be wary of sellers who describe their gold-plated jewelry as gold-filled. Even though some merchants attempt to muddy the lines between these groups, they are distinct. The durability of filled jewelry ensures that it will almost always outlast its plated equivalent.
Why Gold-Filled Jewelry Is Better than Gold-Plated
Now that you have a better understanding of both gold-plated and gold-filled jewelry, how to choose? Gold-filled jewelry, also known as rolled gold plate, can be half as thin as a regular piece of gold-filled jewelry and as thin as 1/40th of its weight. According to the Gem Society, quality is the main distinction between gold-fill and gold-plate. Gold plated items are thinner and less expensive than gold filled. Gold plating is only a few thousandths of an inch thick, so it quickly wears away. Jewelry made with gold plating costs less than jewelry made of pure gold or gold fill. You probably know why. Since there is less gold overall, the cost of the materials is lower.
How does that affect you? Because gold-plated jewelry is less expensive than gold-filled jewelry, you might be able to purchase more of it, but plan on replacing it frequently. Jewelry that is gold-plated won’t endure very long. Sweat, perfume, hair products, sea water, chlorine, and even UV rays cause normal wear and tear that can darken, change the color, or even scratch the base metal layer of your gold-plated jewelry.
It might be upsetting to find a piece of jewelry you adore and believe you’re getting a great price, only to find it darkened when you take it out of your jewelry box. It won’t regain its previous luster no matter how much you clean and polish it. Gold-plated jewelry can be the answer if you’re looking for affordable pieces that you can wear for a season. Gold-filled jewelry, however, is the way to go if you want to add pieces to your collection that you can wear forever and pass on to loved ones. Although it might be slightly more expensive, you won’t need to keep replacing and cleaning it.
Where to Find Gold-Filled Jewelry
It is not always obvious that a piece of jewelry is gold-filled unless you are familiar with jewelry manufacture or metals. Although new jewelry frequently looks the same, occasionally you can tell if the gold has an orange or white tone that seems “wrong.” The quality only becomes apparent with time and use. Consider the location and price range while buying jewelry as a general rule. Jewelry is more likely to be gold-plated if it is less expensive. Keep in mind that gold plating employs the least amount of gold possible, which is fused to a cheaper metal. The piece is less valuable the less gold it contains.
Another warning sign is the presence of costume jewelry in the shop you intend to purchase from; chances are good that the jewelry is gold-plated. Costume jewelry frequently uses gold plating to imitate more expensive pieces. It may occasionally be mentioned on the label, but don’t rely on it.
On the other hand, you’re definitely looking at gold-fill products rather than gold-plated if you buy jewelry from a local jewelry designer or from a local store that supports local jewelry artists. Factory-produced gold-plated jewelry is often mass-produced, but local jewelers may utilize sterling silver or higher-quality gold-fill.
Now that you are aware of the distinction between gold filled and gold plated jewelry, it is time to travel to a physical store or an online retailer. But first, think about why you want to purchase the item.
For “in the moment” situations, gold-plated items are preferable. You can purchase them without thinking about whether your purchase was worthwhile because they are not expensive. Gold-plated jewelry works well for trendy pieces, bling party accessories, and basic work- or play-related accessories.
On the other hand, gold filled jewelry is best utilized in situations where longevity and return on investment are paramount considerations. It is suitable to be a mother’s day gift or a present for milestone occasions like anniversaries and graduations. For timeless pieces that you wear every day or novelty items that you can wear for the rest of your life, gold filled jewelry is a fantastic option.