Solid Gold vs. Gold Filled - A Guide to Buying Gold Jewelry

It wasn't until the past few years that I actually started wearing jewelry. See as a child I discovered I was allergic to nickel after wearing a fake gold ring that made my entire finger swell up and had a terrible rash. Over the years I've become very conscious what is in my jewelry, and I'm excited to break it down for you! 

Gold Plated
Made by coating a very thin gold layer on a base metal. Most jewelers will use silver or copper as the base metal. If the gold layer is plated over silver it's known as "Vermeil". Gold plated has less gold content and is less durable than gold filled jewelry. It is the cheapest and lowest quality and has an average lifespan of up to a year (with minimal exposure to moisture). You definitely don't want to wear this jewelry in the water or sweat in it as it will tarnish easily.  Most Kendra Scott jewelry is gold plated except for their fine jewelry line. 

Gold Filled
Made by joining a base metal with outer layers of gold. These gold layers can have various karat ages, including 10k, 14k, 18k and 24k. Therefore, it has a greater amount of gold than gold plated jewelry, and is more expensive. The base metal is usually brass. Because of the gold layers it is less likely to chip, tarnish or discolor easily. My Laura Elizabeth necklaces are gold filled and hold up great as I wear them daily even in the shower. 

Solid Gold
Solid Gold jewelry (referred to as 'real gold') is the most valuable form of jewelry you can buy. The purest form you can get is 24k gold which is 100% pure gold. It's too soft to use in jewelry, so they will mix pure gold with other metals to make it more durable. Which you will then get 9k, 14k and 18k. It will not wear like gold filled of gold plated jewelry and can easily be melted down and re-used/recycle over and over to create new pieces of jewelry. Obviously solid gold is more superior than the others but it comes with a higher price tag. I never take off my solid gold jewelry. 

Popular brands like Mejuri and Gorjana sell gold plated, gold filled and solid gold jewelry so be sure to read the description before purchasing. 

Photographer: Amy Wilborn | Location: Wish Well House | Dress 

I hope you enjoyed this gold jewelry lesson 😉, and next time you buy a piece of jewelry be sure to read the description and understand exactly what you are buying. 

No comments: