As we learned from the New York Jewelry Week group discussion, industrial technology is constantly replacing some of the processes, the most common of which should be gold plated and gold filled. What’re the differences between gold filled and plated? I believe you must have asked this if you have a certain interest in jewelry. Now you can know some info from TTT -- a direct factory from China and a manufacturer focus on handmade jewelry.
Although TTT focuses on craftsmanship jewelry, in order to allow jewelry to be preserved for a longer period of time and give a strong metallic feel to handmade jewelry, gold plated and gold filled techniques are required inevitably. We choose to work with this particular metal type because we deeply know how meaningful our pieces are to the customers of our partners.
So what’s gold filled? - Gold-filled jewelry is jewelry composed of a solid layer of gold (typically constituting at least 5% of the item's total weight) mechanically bonded to a base of either sterling silver or some base metal -- From Wikipedia. Generally speaking, gold-filled is constructed in two or three layers. The core metal is a base metal such as brass and then gold is bonded to one or both surfaces of the brass core with heat and pressure. Gold-filled is legally required to contain 5% or 1/20 gold by weight and this 5% is then described by the karatage of the gold.
Gold-filled jewelry is the United States layered gold product that is gaining popularity throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. It always means a good quality and easy to care for and will usually maintain its golden shine for a lifetime.
Then what’s gold plated? - Gold plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver (to make silver-gilt), by chemical or electrochemical plating -- From Wikipedia. Gold plating is a very small solid gold layer applied to a brass base and the gold plating layer does not constitute any measurable ratio of the total weight of the product. It is estimated that only 0.05% or less of the metal product, so the gold plating layer usually wears out quickly and the brass base is quickly exposed. It does not stand up to heat, water or rub too.
(Additional Note: Gold plating is not to be confused with "Vermeil" (pronounced ver-MAY), which is a thicker layer of gold plating bonded to sterling silver instead of base metal. To be truly Vermeil, the plating should be at least 2.5 microns thick and always bonded to 925 sterling silver.)
Care and cleaning
Beware of some manufacturers or retailers selling gold plated jewelry as gold filled ones - it is not the same! Gold filled jewelry is in a better quality and would have a much longer lasting time than plating jewelry.
As mentioned above, the gold plated jewelry should never stand up to heat, water or be rubbed. Gold-filled jewelry does not de-laminate or peel like plated or "dipped" jewelry and nor does it fade as readily as silver. So many owners don’t realize that gold-filled jewelry also needs cleaning because from time to time the jewelry may become dirty from everyday wear. It is best to use mild soap and water to clean gold filled jewelry. Hot weather and water will not damage the material.
So, there you are! We hope this information has been helpful. Interest in gold filled and gold plated jewelry? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want wholesale and custom service!
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