Know Gold Jewellery Better: Gold Filled Vs Solid Gold Vs Gold Plated
While purchasing gold jewellery, there are a lot of crucial things one should keep in mind before taking the final call. Of course, the design, purity and price are essential factors to look for. But other necessary things include the karatage, the making charges, the hallmark, the exchange policy, the gemstones and diamonds. There is one more thing that you must check before you buy gold jewellery
from anywhere – that is whether your piece is solid gold, gold-filled or gold plated. The gold pieces made entirely of gold in the given karatage (22K or 18K) are said to be in solid gold. The other two are not entirely made of gold, but some amount of gold is added to the surface of another metal to make it durable and look like gold. Before you get confused about this, we have a guide below to make you understand the differences between the three.
Solid Gold jewellery is the most valuable and close to the purest form of gold jewellery you can buy. Solid gold pieces are made entirely of one material which is an alloy that contains gold with other metals to make the item firmer and more durable. Solid gold is usually stamped with their karat number only. For example, an 18-karat gold jewellery
item should have a stamp such as "18K", "18kt", or "18KP". All the delicate pieces of gold jewellery like rings, chains, pendants, bracelets, stud earrings, etc., are made up of this type of gold. It is best in a way that it doesn't cause any skin allergies as the amount of gold is more and no other metals are used apart from the alloys. It is recommended to pick this type for jewellery pieces that are delicate and used daily for regular wear. With proper care, the solid gold pieces can last for decades without any scratch, colour fadedness or any fragility.
Gold Filled jewellery is not the same as the above. It is made by wrapping a very thin sheet of gold bonding it to a base metal like nickel or brass to give it the look of gold and strength of metals. This process involves a high amount of heat and pressure, and the resultant gold piece is usually more durable than gold plated ones. However, over time, this type of jewellery does not stay the same and also does not hold value like Solid Gold. Gold Filled is suitable for fancy jewellery that has a limited usage with less life span. Its cost is also a fraction of the cost of Solid Gold. Gold-filled is commonly used in gold bangles and hoop earrings.
Gold-filled jewellery also contains markings indicating its karat number. However, they also usually have additional letters, and numbers stamped on them to show they are not solid gold. The most common mark to identify gold-filled items is "GF" placed after the karat number. Although a simple karat number stamp like "18K", without any additional letters, means that the piece is solid gold, there may be some sellers who could sell gold-filled jewellery as solid gold without putting the letters "GF".
Gold Plated jewellery comprises of a thin layer of gold being electrically charged onto a base metal or sterling silver. When sterling silver is plated in gold, it is referred to as "Vermeil Gold". Gold Plated jewellery is the cheapest form with the lowest quality out of the three types. As they have a thin layer of gold, they have an average lifespan of up to a year (with minimal exposure to moisture). This type of gold jewellery is bought for occasional wear and cannot be used daily. Gold plated jewellery pieces are also not great for the skin as they can sometimes cause skin irritation when the above plating fades over time. Best used in earrings, bracelets, statement necklaces, rings and bangles. People also buy gold plated chains and pendants for occasional wear.
Which One to Buy?
There are several reasons to buy all three of them with pros and cons to all types of gold. However, Solid Gold is generally the more superior one as it's the most durable, valuable and causes the least irritation to those having metal allergies. But Solid Gold will also be more expensive as compared to the plated or filled gold. Cost of a solid gold jewellery piece is calculated as per the current gold rate value
in the country.
Gold Plated pieces are alternatively more affordable; however, they only contain a thin layer of gold, and any friction on the surface can cause the plating to rub off quickly, leaving a dull piece of metal. Most base metals used in Gold Plated jewellery also are likely to stain your skin green or cause allergic reactions. Gold Plated jewellery is only suitable for occasionally used fashion jewellery and requires more care and maintenance. Any exposure to even small amounts of moisture, sweat and lotions can degrade the piece rapidly. Regular re-plating is needed to restore pieces back to their original condition, resulting in added ongoing expenses.
Gold Filled pieces are better and more durable than gold plated ones. But they are not as good as solid gold. They can be a more affordable alternative to solid gold; however, over time, they will also degrade and discolour.
With more affordable alternatives in lower carat gold (e.g. 10k gold), Solid Gold pieces will always be valuable. They will last longer and require significantly less maintenance. They encourage sustainability due to the longer wearing nature of fine jewellery pieces
Solid gold can also be bought in 24 karat purity in the form of pure gold coins of 24K
. You can explore Melorra's gold coin collection and shop them online.