What's the Difference Between Gold Filled and Gold Plated Jewelry?
If you’re at a point where you want to invest a little more in your jewelry, you’re probably noticing the words gold filled and gold plated in basically every product description. Despite sounding similar, they are vastly different and worth paying attention to before you buy. So, what do they mean and which one is better?
Gold plating is a thin layer of gold over a brass core. The gold generally makes up about 0.05% of the metal in gold plated jewelry and can wear off quickly. It’s usually the culprit if your jewelry is turning your skin green (womp, womp). Due to the small concentration of gold, gold plated jewelry tends to be less expensive.
In contrast to gold plated jewelry, gold filled jewelry is required to contain 5% gold. The gold is pressure-bonded to a brass core and as such is much more durable. It won’t tarnish and can last forever if you take good care of it. Most gold filled jewelry will cost you over $100 but there are some notable exceptions. One Six Five jewelry is one small designer brand that makes it a point to offer gold filled at accessible prices.
Does that mean you should only buy gold-filled jewelry?
Nope. I buy loads of gold plated jewelry because it’s less expensive and it may make more sense for your budget, especially if you’re purchasing a trend piece that you don’t intend to wear for long. BUT, if you’re looking for something that will really last or you’re splurging, it’s definitely worth checking the composition before breaking out the credit card. And don't be shocked when a gold plated piece tarnishes quickly.