Confused About What Gold-filled Jewelry Is? Get Quick Answers!

14k gold-filled rings

Source: Pinterest

If you’re confused about gold-filled jewelry, read this blog now. In this article, we’ll go over everything buyers should know about gold-filled jewelry–what is gold-filled, and what is gold-filled jewelry? What is gold-filled jewelry mean? And the pros and cons of gold-filled jewelry.

Let‘s dive in!

Gold-filled Means

What does gold-filled mean? Gold-filled is a layered material composed of 2 or 3 layers. Please see attached figure for a more clear idea.

An image explaining “what does gold-filled mean”

Source: Wikipedia

What does gold-filled Mean in Jewelry? Gold-filled jewelry is made up of a solid layer of gold (typically at least 5% of the total weight) mechanically bonded to a base of sterling silver or another base metal like copper and brass. 

What is Gold-filled Jewelry?

1. What is Gold-filled Jewelry Mean?

  • Unlike solid gold jewelry, gold-filled jewelry is made up of a solid layer of gold that is bonded to a base of another metal, such as copper and sterling silver. 
  • Gold-filled jewelry is particularly less expensive than solid gold jewelry.
  • Besides, gold-filled jewelry is more durable, shiny-looking, and new even after decades of wear.
  • Many jewelry makers and designers prefer gold to other metals because gold lasts indefinitely, never tarnishes or corrodes, and has amazing workability. Despite gold’s attractive properties, gold has one significant disadvantage: softness. It indicates it will blend quickly.  Though jewelers use pure gold in some jewelry, it dents and wears easily so most people don’t wear pure gold jewelry regularly.

Mixing gold with other metals, on the other hand, produces gold-filled that is a more durable, sturdier, stronger, and better alternative for jewelry use. Gold-filled jewelry has a minimum of 5% gold applied to the base metal. 

  • Surprisingly, the metal used with gold determines the different shades of gold alloy. Copper and gold produce a darker yellow color, whereas silver and copper form a yellower shade. 

2. What Does Gold-filled Chain Mean?

A gold-filled chain is a layered material consisting of two or three layers. The base metal is brass. While in the past, sterling silver was sometimes used as a base metal instead. Single-clad gold-filled has all gold content in a single layer on one side.

Gold-filled chains contain very little gold. Given that the energy and time required to separate the precious gold from the other metals is greater than with solid gold, the gold-filled chain is rarely valuable unless you have a large quantity of the pieces.

3. 14k and 12k Gold-filled Mean

14K gold-filled chain composed of a layer of 14K gold mechanically bonded to a base of sterling silver or some other metal base, brass frequently. 

As per US standards, the surface gold layer of the gold-filled jewelry should be at least 5% or 1/20th of the item’s total weight. 14K gold and 12K gold are commonly used on gold-filled jewelry. The 14kt gold-filled jewelry and 12kt gold-filled jewelry are generally stamped with 14/20 GF and 12/20 GF. 

Remark: “14/20” means gold-filled jewelry is made with 14-karat gold, and the gold represents 1/20th (or 5%) of the total weight of the gold-filled material. (“14/20”–the first number is the karat purity of the gold used; the second number is the amount, by weight, of gold to the substrate material. ) 

14K gold filled chain necklace

Source: Pinterest

4. Brazilian Gold-filled Jewelry

It is one more popular gold-filled jewelry type today. Brazilian gold-filled jewelry has 1/30th (or 3%) of 18k gold over a base metal. It has 40% less gold than US gold-filled jewelry but can last a while with care.

Gold-filled Meaning vs. Gold-plated Jewelry

gold-filled and gold-plated

Source: Halsteadbead

The difference between gold-filled & gold-plated: 

  • gold filled jewelry has 2 or 3 layers of actual gold mixed with other metals. Yellow gold-filled jewelry is a fine quality, more affordable option than solid gold jewelry. 
  • Gold-plated jewelry is produced by electroplating the base metal—silver, brass, or copper—and then applying a thin gold layer on top. 

Both gold-filled jewelry and gold-plated jewelry have advantages and disadvantages. 

Pros and Cons of Gold-filled Jewelry

Gold-filled jewelry is manufactured by bonding solid gold to a metal base, which is typically sterling silver. 2 significant advantages of this process are:

  • if properly cared for, gold-filled jewelry can last as long as solid gold; 
  • It’s also slightly less expensive than solid gold.

The disadvantages? Most jewelry stores today consider this method to be expensive and do not sell gold-filled jewelry at all. As a result, gold-filled jewelry can be so expensive sometimes. It may be worth waiting a little longer and saving up for solid gold jewelry.

Pros and Cons of Gold-plated Jewelry

The main advantage of gold-plated jewelry is that it is commonly less expensive than other gold jewelry types. 

However, as with anything else, you get what you pay for. The main disadvantage is that gold plating doesn’t long-lasting and tarnishes easily. If someone ever had a “gold” necklace turn his/her neck green, that must be because the base metal oxidizes, causing a chemical reaction that turns the skin green.

However, the quality of gold-plated jewelry varies. Choose a gold-plated item with a gold layer that is at least 0.5 microns thick. The thicker the gold layer, the longer the life of the gold-plated chain, ensuring that wearers’ skin doesn’t turn green anytime soon.

Read more: 

What is Gold Plated Jewelry: Things You Need to Know

All You Need to Know About Gold-Plated Jewelry

Why is There a Color Variance Between Gold-filled Jewelry? 

The gold-filled jewelry color varies because of the different finishing processes. Most items are close to the industry standard “Hamilton” color, but some are more yellow, tawny, or darker in hue.

Variation has increased as the materials, and consumer preferences are changing. The Hamilton color was standard for many years, but different markets now demand more yellow or brassy gold surfaces. Some manufacturers will add a plating layer on top of the fused, layered gold-filled materials to form a different color high glossy finish. 

As more Chinese manufacturers serve the global market, they serve gold-filled jewelry in a broader range of colors.

How Durable is Gold-filled Jewelry?

Gold-filled jewelry is usually more durable and stronger than gold-plated jewelry thanks to the thicker layer of gold alloy. The lifespan of both the gold jewelry type is affected by the environment, the wear as well as the quality of the jewelry. Gold-filled jewelry can last a lifetime as long as it is properly cared for.

How Long Does Gold-filled Jewelry Last? 

10-30 years! Most premium-quality gold-filled jewelry has the same pretty appearance as high-carat gold and can last 10 to 30 years with daily wear. Though the gold layer will ultimately wear off, exposing the metal beneath.

Does Gold-filled Jewelry Tarnish?

Yes, it tarnishes in rare cases. Gold-filled jewely is a lifetime piece because the gold layer bonded to the metal base is pretty thick. But, gold-filled jewelry can blacken in a few sets of circumstances such as extreme sulfide exposure.

Is Gold-filled Jewelry Waterproof?  

Gold-filled jewelry is waterproof and non-corrosive. Gold-filled jewelry is significantly less expensive than solid gold jewelry, it is more durable and can last indefinitely if properly cared for!

Wearing gold-filled rings and gold-filled bracelets

Source: shopkolohe

Can You Shower with Gold-filled Jewelry?

Yes, you can! You can shower in gold-filled jewelry, get it wet, and wear it for daily life! Gold-filled jewelry is safe to wear when showering due to the thick layer of gold on top of the base metal. The pieces are more durable and less likely to chip. But, we recommend you take it off in chlorine or salt water.

FAQs on Gold-filled Jewelry

1. How is gold-filled jewelry made?

Gold-filled is created by mechanically bonding a layer of gold to a base metal layer. Gold filled has a distinct layer of gold, and the core is usually brass. The gold is then bonded to the surface of the brass using heat and pressure. How to make gold-filled jewelry video

2. Is filled gold real gold? 

No. Gold Filled is not the same as Real Gold or Solid Gold. It is made by bonding a layer of gold alloy to a base metal to give it the appearance of gold and costs a fraction of the price of solid gold.

Authentic gold-filled pieces should be marked. If it’s not, customers can take it to a professional jeweler to get it tested.

3. Does gold-filled jewelry turn green?  

Unlike gold-plated jewelry, gold-filled jewelry won’t turn your skin green and is tarnish resistant. It’s also far more valuable than buying gold-plated jewelry. 

4. Does gold-filled jewelry wear off?

Yes. But before flaking occurs, gold-filled jewelry lasts several decades.

Start Gold-filled Jewelry Business in a Few Minutes

Now you get the full breakdown of gold-filled jewelry. Knowing that gold-filled jewelry is as bright as gold jewelry while cheaper, more resistant than gold-plated jewelry, and won’t get tarnished. Whenever you want to start a gold-filled jewelry business, please contact us for free!

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