What Does Gold Filled Mean
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What is gold filled? And is gold-filled jewelry real gold? In fact, a gold-filled jewel composes of a solid gold layer bonded to a base metal.
How much real gold is in gold fill? Typically, the solid gold layer contributes to 5% of the jewels weight. If the gold layer is less than 5% of the jewels weight, it is a rolled gold plate or a gold overlay.
A gold-filled jewel has a lifespan of 10 to 30 years before the gold wears off completely to expose the base metal. The layer of the gold filling is approximately 10 times thicker than gold plating and 25 times thicker than a gold electroplate.
What Is The Difference Between Gold Filled And Gold Plated
The big difference is the amount of gold, Theres a lot more gold in gold-filled than the Gold Plated Items, and the gold is attached in a way thats much more durable. Also, the standards for 14k gold-fill are strictly regulated, that I mention in the beginning, while the standards for “14k gold plated” encompass a broad range of thicknesses, so you can’t be sure how much gold is in the plated layer.
Gold Plated And Gold Filled Jewelry
Now that we know what gold and gold alloys are, its time to talk about gold plated and gold filled jewelry.
Gold Plated Jewelry:
Gold plated jewelry is NOT gold jewelry. Gold plated jewelry is jewelry made of a base metal or silver that has a very thin layer of gold applied to the top. The layer is so thin, that it can usually be rubbed off with a coarse pencil eraser in a few swipes. Some plated jewelry has a thicker layer of gold than other plated jewelry, but the difference is insignificant on the grand scale of things. When buying gold plated jewelry, you should consider the gold plating as nothing more than a coloring there is almost no inherent value to the gold applied. It doesnt matter if its 24K, 14K or 18K.
Example of a Designer Gold Plated Bracelet with Natural Agate
This doesnt mean gold plated jewelry is junk or uncollectible. To the contrary, much of the vintage and modern gold plated jewelry on the market is very desirable and a pleasure to wear. Common marks for gold plated jewelry include:
Gold Filled Jewelry
For example mid 20th century and later pieces are very often marked 1/20 12K Gold Filled. This means that 1/20 of the metal weight of the item consists of 12K Gold . Common gold filled marks include:
Example of the 12KT. G.F. mark on a rose brooch
- 1/20 12K G.F.
- 1/10 12K Gold Filled .
- 12KT G.F. .
- 20/12 This is shorthand for 1/20 12K Gold Filled
- Gold Filled
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How To Check If Gold Is Real Or Plated
There are a couple of ways to tell if an item is gold plated. Remember, nothing is wrong with electroplated pieces even though they dont have a lot of economic value, these items can be beautiful and hold sentimental value.
Heres how to check:
- Gold-plated jewelry is often stamped with initials such as GP , GEP , HGP , or RGP . Keep in mind that just because a piece doesnt have these initials doesnt mean that it is solid gold it could be that the piece is plated but not stamped.
- Acid test: The acid test is best done by a professional jeweler. The jeweler will apply some acid to a sample of your jewelry and check for a color change. Depending on the color change, theyd be able to tell the amount of solid gold in a piece and determine if the jewelry is plated or solid.
- Color: Some gold-plated jewelry is coated with 24-karat gold, giving the jewelry a deep yellow color that looks like pure gold. However, if the piece is relatively cheaper than pure gold, it probably is gold-plated and not solid gold.
- Magnet test: When used with other tests, the magnet test can also be useful. Gold is not magnetic, so if the piece of jewelry is attracted to a magnet, it means that it contains some other metal other than or in addition to gold.
Why Don’t You Stock A Gold
First, there is no such thing as a gold-filled solder. Your best bet is to color match the solder joint to the surface metal by using 14kt gold solder. Second, we do not recommend soldering gold-filled jewelry supplies without specific equipment and specialized training.
Usually, gold-filled soldering at the manufacturing level is done with laser welders that make precision joins. If you attempt to solder it with a torch and normal gold or brazing solder you can alloy the surface layer of gold with the brass beneath it. Overheated joins will leave a dark solder stain that is markedly different than the neighboring gold. Any exposed brass will quickly tarnish to black to be even more distinct. Then, the only way to repair it is to plate the entire item in gold to cover the join and match color all over the piece. Similarly, do not sand or file gold-filled since you will remove the gold portion of the product and decrease the surface layer integrity.
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How To Determine Gold Purity Level
The higher karat of gold indicates a higher purity. While more valuable, the higher karats will be a little softer than lower karat golds, meaning that it can be less resistant to scrapes and scratches. One way to see the quality of your gold is to find a marking somewhere that indicates how much and what type of gold was used in the process. For instance, a marking of 1/20 12k G.F. means the jewelry consists of at least 1/20th of 12 Karat gold by weight. If there is no marking, the marking is unreadable, or if you want to make double check a pieces karats there are other ways to test the quality.
For example, a scratch test is another way to determine the quality of your gold. However, this does mean scratching rather deeply and an acid test is performed on the exposed material to determine the quality of your metal. If you don’t want to scratch your item, bring it to a local store that has an X-ray fluorescence machine. Many stores may not have this type of equipment because it is quite expensive, but using a machine like this will allow for quality testing that does not damage your product.
If There Are No Stampings You Are Looking At A Gold
In many cases, gold-plated items that have been plated using tank or plasma plating have no stampings. Why? Because they contain extremely small amounts of gold. And gold-toned items, which are often unstamped, often contain no gold at all they could be made of brass, plated with silver, and then given a coating of yellow lacquer.
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What Is Gold Filled
Gold filled products consist of an actual layer of gold that is pressure bonded to another metal. Gold filling is one of the most valuable and tarnish resistant processes for creating gold jewelry and other items. If properly cared for, your gold filled product can last a lifetime and thanks to its durability, there’s no need to worry about wear. Gold filled jewelry is actually an economical alternative to solid gold. This process uses a permanent bonding method that incorporates extremely high temperatures and pressure. The result is a much thicker layer of precious metal when compared to PVD and coating. Because this process is much more intense and requires more gold, the price tag of course will be higher than with other processes. However, gold filled jewelry is actually an economical alternative to solid gold.
Reasons Why 14k Gold Filled Jewelry Is Better
14K gold filled jewelry strikes the perfect balance between solid 14K gold jewelry and 14K gold plated jewelry. 14K gold filled jewelry looks exactly like 14K gold, is durable enough to wear every day for years on end and costs a fraction of what a comparable 14K gold piece would be! Here are the 3 reasons why 14K gold filled is better.
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The Difference Between Solid Gold Gold Filled And Gold Plated Jewelry
We get a lot of questions from people wanting to know the difference between solid gold, gold filled and gold plated jewelry. The best type of gold jewelry that’s suited for you depends on a number of factors – your budget, how often you wear your jewelry and whether youll be able to take good care of it. Read below to find out the differences between these materials.
Sleeping With My 14k Gf
Sleeping with your jewelry wont damage the gold-filled surfaces, but for delicate pieces such as stone bracelets or necklaces, snagging on the fabric of your sheets or nightclothes can be an issue. I recommend you to take your pieces off before bed. It’s also nice if you can to give them a wipe down after a day’s wear just to get body oils off the surface.
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Learn More About Gold
At Oxford Gold Group, we can tell if an item is gold-plated, gold-filled, or pure with a single glance. Oxford Gold Group should be your first-choice destination to learn more about gold-filled items or invest in gold stock to hedge against inflation. Dial and learn how we can build a gold-filled future together.
How Long Does Gold
Unfortunately, the lifespan of gold-plated jewelry isnt long because its more susceptible to scratching and tarnishing. Daily wear and tear will wear down the tiny gold layer and expose the jewelers brass beneath.
You might wonder why gold plating is so thin. To answer that, we need to compare the manufacturing processes of gold-filled vs. gold-plated jewelry.
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Whats The Difference Between 14kt Gold
Do you love the look of yellow gold jewelry? Who can blame you? This classic metal has been with us for centuries as a symbol of art, beauty and wealth. But the price of 14K gold is very expensive and most of our budgets simply cant afford to purchase such a valuable piece of jewelry. Don’t fret! Gold-filled jewelry is equally as beautiful and a fraction of the cost.
What Does Gold Filled Mean In Jewelry
You aren’t the only one whose wondering what does it mean when jewelry is gold filled. This is a question jewelers frequently find themselevs answering. We’ll explain more in detail below, but here’s a quick list to help you understand the main difference between the two processes.
- Typically uses two bonded alloys
- Usually has a brass base
- 5% or 1/20 true gold
- Medium strength
- Does not last a lifetime
- Typically dipped instead of bonded
- Usually has a brass base
- .05% or less true gold
- Light strength
- More affordable
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Old Items Usually Contain More Gold
This is a rule of thumb. Over the last 20 years or so, it has become more common for manufacturers of inexpensive gold-toned items to apply only very thin layers of gold to them. If you find items that are older than that like an old pair of eyeglass frames hiding in Grandpas dresser drawer you could be looking at something of higher value that is well worth recycling.
Can You Be Allergic To Gold
Individuals who have skin reactions with gold alloys will also react to the gold alloy layer on the surface of gold-filled. Some people’s body chemistry will cause their skin to blacken or develop a rash when they wear certain metals. I am one of those people and on certain days, my fingers will turn black all around my 14kt wedding band. Rarely, an individual’s body chemistry may darken the metal as well.
Gold-filled is a reasonably priced, quality alternative to solid gold. Most gold-filled jewelry supplies are made in the USA. We offer a wide selection of chains, charms, and findings in this high-quality metal to outfit your jewelry studio with plenty of materials for jewelry design.
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What Is 14k Gold
Gold-filled is a USA industry standard that legally requires 1/20th, or 5% pure gold by weight. Its a strictly regulated process that involves pressure bonding multiple layers of solid 14k gold with extreme heat over a core of high quality jewelers brass resulting in a durable, quality real gold product.
So Which Type Of Jewelry Should I Choose
If youre looking for the highest-quality, demi-fine jewelry, a vermeil collection with thick plating in 18k gold would be a good choice. If you dont mind a lower base metal, gold filled pieces are probably your best bet when it comes to long-lasting and durable jewelry. Although gifts for loved ones, bridal jewelry and commemorative pieces are all best suited as vermeil, gold filled or fine jewelry, your casual fashion wear can work great with just a thin layer of gold plating.
While pure 14k or 18k gold or platinum pieces are always the best choice for high-quality, permanent pieces of your collection, vermeil and gold filled can always be a good alternative for the budget-conscious fashionista.
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What Is 10k Gold Filled 14k Gold Filled 18k Gold Filled
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The standard of gold is measured in karats. The most common gold standards are 10k, 14k, and 18k. A 100% pure gold usually has 24 karats.
A 10k gold-filled has 41.7% pure gold and 58.3% alloy. A 14k gold filled consists of 58.5% of pure gold. An 18 karats gold-filled jewel contains 75% of pure gold.
Generally, an 18k gold is more expensive than 14k gold, which is also costly than 10k gold. However, a 14k gold-filled jewel will take more time to have visible wear and tear marks than an 18k gold filled.
To conclude, 14k gold filled is much recommended for people who want an ideal balance in price, look, and durability.
Summing Up The Difference Between Gold Filled And Gold Plated
Gold filled items contain more gold than gold plated items do and are therefore worth more. But remember that both gold filled, and gold plated items can look the same. The reliable way to tell one from the other is to have them tested at a qualified precious metals testing facility like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.
Remember, we can safely test and determine the value of both kinds of items without damaging them or reducing the amount of money you will get from recycling them. Call 800-426-2344 to speak with our precious metals consultants today.
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What Does White Gold Filled Mean
White gold filled is manufactured from gold and white-colored base metals alloys. These white-colored metals like palladium, silver, zinc, and nickel are mixed with solid gold to provide a distinctive white color. White gold filled exists in many variations depending on the alloys percentages used in the manufacturing.
Gold Filled Vs Gold Plated
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Whats the difference between gold filled and gold plated? Which is better gold filled or gold plated? In fact, gold filled is more durable than gold plated as it is much thicker. A gold-filled jewel has one hundred times more gold than a gold-plated one.
A gold-filled jewel is manufactured by sandwiching a core metal between two layers of gold. The sandwich is then passed through heat and roller multiple times to bond the metals together.
A well-maintained gold-filled jewel can last for 10 to 30 years. However, the jewel can still tarnish in exceptional circumstances.
A gold-plated jewel contains a thin layer of gold that is barely noticeable. Gold plating involves using an electric current to charge the base metal negatively. A solution with gold ions is also charged positively to attract the core metals negative charges. This forms a thin gold coating over the core metal.
The plating is not durable and cannot withstand much heat, wear, or water. Gold plated wears off and tarnishes quickly to expose the core metal.
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The Break Down: Plated Filled Vermeil And Solid Gold
Plated, filled, or solidits all too easy to get swept up in the confusion surrounding jewelry materials, gold in particular. Our designs are made with recycled solid gold, which, unlike plated, filled or vermeil, is built to last and wont rub off or change color over time. One of our core values as a company is qualitywe want to make sure that there is longevity in your VRAI pieces so you can enjoy them for years to come. Since were serious about our materials, we felt it was time to explain the difference between plated, filled vermeil, and solid gold.
When something is gold plated, its gold content is usually less than 1%. This means that the piece is a base metal that takes a quick dip in a gold bathhence the plating. While plated pieces may possess the same luster and gold appearance at first, this layer is often quick to fade when washed, rinsed, or rubbed too hard, leaving behind discolored skin and dirty looking jewelry. Most fashion jewelry is gold-plated, which allows the cost to be as low as possible.
Gold Vermeil is a common type of gold plating, which uses sterling silver as the base metal. Vermeil is more hypoallergenic and has a thicker layer of gold than normal gold plating, which is why you’ll see it in stores selling fine jewelry. However, with enough scuffs and scratches the plating can wear off.