The Downside Of Silver As A Metal For Jewelry
Pure silver, also called fine silver, is relatively soft, very malleable, and easily damaged so it is commonly combined with other metals to produce a more durable product. The most popular of these alloys is sterling silver, which consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. Although any metal can make up the 7.5 percent non-silver portion of sterling, centuries of experimentation have shown copper to be its best companion, improving the metal’s hardness and durability without affecting its beautiful color.
However, sterling silver is still 92.5% fine silver. Often with finer, more delicate sterling silver jewelry, you will find that over time the silver may become softer and its shape more malleable. It is important to care for your silver to prevent them from losing shape.
What If The Website Doesn’t State The Karatage
Normally, if there is no karatage mentioned, the layer of gold is either just a colour imitation and not actually gold, or is one of the below:
Gold platedContains 0.03-0.05% solid gold, and is done by a process of electroplating. The gold is not actually binded onto the base metal , and fades/tarnishes very quickly with use. Gold plated is suitable for fashion or trendy jewelry and good to test out new styles and for short wears.
Gold filledContains 5% of solid gold, and is done by a process of heat bonding. The layer of gold , is permanently bonded with heat and pressure onto the base metal . Gold-filled pieces can still tarnish, but it takes special circumstances for that to happen, like excessive and rough use. Even though its an alloy, the thick layer on gold-filled pieces prevents tarnishing, because pure gold doesnt tarnish. Gold filled jewelry is suitable for every day wear, just like solid gold, but without the price tag.
Gold vermeilContains 0.5-1% solid gold, and is done by a process of electroplating, similar to gold plated. The main difference with gold vermeil is the base layer, which is sterling silver . Gold vermeil is good for fashion jewelry and good for those with sensitivity to nickel, brass or copper present in gold plated jewelry.
However, always do your research as gold plated jewelry can still be marked up 10-15x its value and is no where as long lasting as gold filled!
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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Is Gold Filled Or Gold Plated Better For You
Now that you know what is the difference between gold plated and gold filled jewelry, you should be able to decide which style is best for you. If you like a current on trend jewelry style, it’s probably best to choose a gold plated ring, bracelet, or necklace. Popular and trending styles don’t typically stay popular for more than a few seasons. You probably won’t wear them every day either. Since it’s not going to be a jewelry accessory that you wear frequently or probably keep for more than a year, go ahead and look for plated styles and save your money. For shoppers looking for a personalized everyday accessory, like a bar necklace or namebar ring, you should invest in a gold filled product. Many shoppers looking for alternative engagement rings also rely heavily on gold filled engagement rings. For many shoppers it’s an earth-friendly choice, and for others it’s a long-lasting placeholder until they can afford what they ideally want.
If you’re comfortable spending slightly more, gold filled is the best choice for a long-lasting piece of jewelry.
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.
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Which Jewelry Is Durable
Filled Jewelry and plating jewelry are both Durable. Here, however, Durable means the gold coating on the piece of jewelry and how long the glitter lasts.
Gold-filled is the coating of a thick sheet, so its durability is much higher. Gold plating jewelry on the other hand has much lower durability due to the thinner gold coating. So gold filled jewelry is much better in terms of durability.
Is Solid Gold Jewelry Better
If you have the financial comfort to purchase solid gold jewelry pieces, than yes, solid gold is the best gold you can purchase. Solid gold jewelry or jewelry labeled 14k, 18k, and 24k are the best that you can purchase. The karat name refers to how much true gold is bonded to whatever the base material is that the jeweler uses. Gold bonding at the 14, 18 and 24 karat level will last forever. Before you save up all your funds and decide to take the 24karat gold plunge, there are a few things to consider. Gold, though strikingly beautiful, is one of the softer jewelry materials. Many shoppers will choose a 14k gold or gold filled ring because they’re more durable than a 24kt gold ring style. A 24k gold ring or bracelet should still be worn carefully because it’s sensitive to scratches and can even be bent.
Solid gold jewelry is an investment that will last beyond even your own lifetime, but it can scratch and bend.
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How Karat Classifications Affect The Value
Here things get a bit complicated. If you find an item that is marked 12K gold plated, that probably means that the gold that has been used to plate the item is 12K gold. However, in the past, some jewelers have played around with their stampings, and assigned karat ratings that reflect the total gold content of the item by weight. If an items weight is comprised of 50% base metal and 50% gold, for example, the item might be stamped as 12K gold plated, even though the gold that has been used is of a higher karat rating than 12K. Sorry if we confused you on this topic if you have questions about an item you own, call our precious metal consultants at 800-426-2344 and we can explain it to you.
Gold And Tarnishing Or Discoloration
Unsurprisingly, pure gold bars and accessories are the least prone to tarnishing and discoloration when compared to their gold-plated and gold-filled counterparts. 24-karat gold is nearly impossible to tarnish, but its existence is rare in most markets, even the niche ones.
The most common cause of the discoloration of pure gold bars, coins, and wearables is the degradation of their metal alloys. Unless you combine gold with an equally expensive mineral such as platinum or rhodium, it can tarnish pretty fast, and when you pair it with copper or nickel, your gold necklaces, watches, and wedding bands can darken in only a couple of years.
People use gold-filled items to prevent the base metal from coming in contact with the skin, where oils, germs, and various detrimental minerals like salt and sulfur subsist. So, while gold-filled pieces of jewelry make perfect anniversary gifts, fraternity rings, and business wear, pure gold comes in the form of bars, which generally sit inside vaults for a long time.
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Selling Gold Jewelry Getting A Fair Price For Gold
The price that you can get for your gold varies from one gold buyer to another. The weight of the gold and the number of karats in the gold determines its value. You can buy a jewelry scale to check the weight of the gold that you are selling. The price of gold varies from day to day. You can check the current price of gold at CNN Money. You can expect to be offered 60% to 80% of the value of the gold.
Keep in mind that jewelers sell jewelry at the retail price and not at a wholesale price that they buy the jewelry for to make a profit. Craftsmanship of a piece increases the price of a piece of jewelry, but when selling it, craftsmanship has no value at all, since the gold is melted down, so a beautiful handmade ring that you bought for $500 might only sell for $60.
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.
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Is There A Difference Between Gold Plated And Gold Filled Jewelry
The short answer is yes, but we don’t expect you to take our word for it so we thought we’d draft up a blog post that explains what the differences are exactly. At AHA we exclusively use 14K gold filled for all of our yellow and/or rose gold earring hooks, chains and clasps. After reading this blog post we’re pretty sure you’ll understand why. Plus its great to be educated so you know what to shop for.
Whenever we do jewelry shows or markets we are able to explain in person the types of metals we use in our earring designs. Online, however, its a lot harder to highlight the importance of buying gold filled over gold plated in our short product descriptions.
So here’s the deal. Have you ever purchased a “gold” piece of jewelry just to have it turn color, chip or peel on you? You might have even purchased this item at a retail establishment that you wouldn’t expect that from. Personally in the past I’ve picked up jewelry from places like Anthropologie, Jcrew, even Nordstron that this happened to. Most likely this jewelry was gold plated. Frankly most gold tone jewelry sold is plated, because its cheaper to manufacture.
There is a big difference between “gold filled” and gold plated”. Its really good to know the difference so that you know what to shop for and what you are getting for your buck. Bottom line your going to pay a little bit more for gold filled jewelry, but it will stand the test of time, and in our opinion its well worth it. Heres why:
Gold Filled Or Solid Gold: Look At The Gold Markings
Solid gold pieces are usually stamped with their karat number only. For example, an 18-karat item should have a stamp such as 18K, 18kt, or 18KP.
In Europe, you may see karats expressed as a decimal, percentage, or parts per thousand: Thus, an 18K piece may be stamped with a marking such as 0.75 or 750 since 18 karats imply 75% gold content .
Gold-filled jewelry should also have markings indicating its karat number. However, such pieces usually have additional letters and numbers stamped that indicate that they are not solid gold.
The most common identifier of gold-filled items is the sign GF after the karat number.
As an example, 1/10 22K GF is a marking which tells you that the item is gold filled and its gold layer is made of 22-karat gold the fraction 1/10 before the karat number means that one tenth of the items weight is gold.
Sometimes, instead of the stamp GF you may see the letters RGP, standing for rolled gold plate. This type of jewelry is made in the same way as gold-filled pieces, but its gold layer is much thinner.
Note: Although a simple karat number stamp such as 14K, without any additional letters, should mean that the piece is solid gold, there may be some vendors that could sell gold-filled jewelry that is not identified as such by the letters GF.
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Gold Plated / Gold Vermeil
Gold Plated jewellery consists of a very thin layer of gold being electrically charged onto a base metal or sterling silver.
If gold is plated over sterling silver, this is also known as Vermeil .
You’ll often see Gold Plated jewellery expressed as a number of karats as well. E.g. ‘14k Gold Plated‘. In this example, the number of karats refers to the very thin layer of gold that is plated over a base metal or sterling silver.
There are 2 very important things to note here:
1. Although it is a layer of real gold used in plating, it is only about 0.5 microns on average, or up to 5 microns for heavy gold plating that is used. To give some context, 1 micron = 1 millionth of a metre, and the average human hair is 70 microns thick! So it is only a microscopic level of gold which does not compare in volume to a Solid Gold piece of jewellery.
2. It is important not to confuse gold plated naming conventions with solid gold. In the above example, a 14k gold plated piece of jewellery should be clearly stated as ’14k Gold Plated’. A solid 14k gold piece of jewellery would be stated as ’14k Gold’ or ’14k Solid Gold’ or ‘Solid 14k Gold’.
When purchasing jewellery, it is important to be sure of whether you are purchasing solid gold or plated gold. There is a large discrepancy in value and there have been instances where some retailers may omit the word ‘plated’ when describing their jewellery which can be very misleading.
What Is Gold Plated Jewelry
Gold plated jewelry is a very light layer of gold – 0.05% actual gold or less – on top of a base metal . The thin layer of gold is plated onto the base metal to create gold plated jewelry.
Since the gold plating is very thin, the gold can rub off easily. It is also more prone to tarnishing when exposed to any kinds of liquids or chemicals. Although gold itself does not corrode, copper and brass will, especially when exposed to liquids . Gold plated jewelry is much, much cheaper than the other types of gold jewelry because it uses a tiny amount of gold on top of a base metal. Gold plated jewelry is a good option if you need jewelry for just an occasion, or for trying out new trends.
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What Is 14 Karat Gold Jewelry
14KT gold jewelry is beautiful and expensive but in its purest form , it is really soft too! That is why jewelers need to add other metals to pure gold so that they can shape it and make it strong.
How much gold is in 14KT gold? 24KT gold is 100% pure gold, 24 out of 24 parts are gold. If your pendant is 14kt gold, 14 parts of 24 are gold. A 14KT gold piece of jewelry is 58.3% pure gold.
Gold is often mixed with the other metals . The most common metals combined with gold are copper, silver, nickel, zinc, tin, palladium, and/or manganese. These metals create golds sheen, its different hues of gold, and increases its durability.
14KT gold will last forever, it doesnt tarnish or fade with time.
Gold Filled Jewelry Versus Real Gold
Gold filled jewelry is a lot more than an affordable alternative to real gold jewelry. It boasts many of its own unique features and attributes. It’s much easier to care for than real gold. It’s also more widely available.
The downsides are that it’s not as valuable and it’s not as durable as real gold. Although the near 30-year lifespan of gold filled jewelry is impressive, it pales in comparison to that of pure gold. Pure gold jewelry can last indefinitely when properly cared for. This is why archaeologists continue to unearth intact gold artifacts from ancient societies.
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Value And Peace Of Mind
Lastly, 14K gold fill is better because of the value it provides. I will admit that 14K gold also wins the first two categories. Since it’s solid 14K gold there is no question about how it’s constructed and how durable it is. But it looses out to 14K gold fill when it comes to cost and peace of mind. With 14K gold fill you can get the look, the wear and the care of 14K gold jewelry at just a fraction of the cost – 8.7% of the cost to be exact in the example below!
Many of my customers tell me they are also much more relaxed about wearing 14K gold fill jewelry, making it their jewelry of choice for travel. If it gets lost or stolen it is still sad, but it isn’t the nerve-wracking financial disaster it could be. They are also more apt to wear 14K gold fill jewelry every day without worry. It’s so much easier just to grab your favorite bracelet and go when you don’t have to remove it from the safe first!
So there you have it – the three reasons why I think that 14K gold fill makes the perfect choice for jewelry wear. Did I miss any reasons? Let me know in the comments below!
*Make sure that any jewelry cleaner you use is rated for use with 14K gold jewelry. Also follow the same precautions as you would for any 14K gold jewelry, like not wearing your jewelry in hot tubs or any other high chlorine environments.
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