Gold Filled jewellery and components

When you see the term “gold filled” regarding jewellery and components, it simply means that a layer of 14 karat gold (can be more, can be less) has been placed over a base metal which is usually copper or brass. This is done with heat and pressure until the karat gold has reached a certain thickness and has been bonded to the brass or copper base. The thickness of the gold must be at least 5% of the total weight. Gold filled jewellery looks exactly the same as real gold and it is therefore commonly used as an alternative to real gold jewellery. One thing that’s great about gold filled material is that it rarely irritates people with allergies to anything but real gold jewellery.


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Gold plated or plated materials

“Gold plated” and “plated” pretty much mean the same thing. The plating process is similar to the gold filled process as a layer of gold is also applied to a base material. Most often, the base material is silver or copper. Only thing is, a much smaller amount of gold is used for gold plated materials. The gold layer is instead a microscopic film and is about 100 times thinner than the gold layer applied to gold filled materials. For this reason, gold plated materials are less expensive than gold filled materials. Plating is normally done enhance the look of costume jewellery and make it more attractive.


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How long do these materials last?

The karat gold layer on gold filled materials rarely wears off and can last up to 5 years because the thick gold layer on the surface protects it from wear and tarnish. Gold filled material, thus, keeps hold of its beautiful, golden colour for a very long time. The great thing about gold filled jewellery is that it’s much cheaper than solid gold jewellery – while the difference in quality not easily noticed. On the other hand, gold plated will become less beautiful over time. This is because the microscopic layer of gold will eventually wear off.


The amount of time it takes for this to happen depends on the acidity of your skin and how often the jewellery is worn.