Gold Filled vs Gold Plated Jewelry
Gold filled jewelry consists of a base metal, jeweler's brass, that is covered in sheets of real gold. These gold sheets are bonded to the base metal using a mechanical process involving heat.
Once this process has taken place, you are left with jewelry covered in a thick layer of gold that usually constitutes at least 5% of it's total weight.
Gold filled vs gold plated:
When comparing gold filled jewelry to gold plated jewelry, gold plated normally consists of less than 0.05% of its total weight in gold, meaning gold filled jewelry is 100x thicker than gold plated.
Gold plated jewelry is prone to tarnishing when coming into any contact with water, perfume, or simple oxidation from the air.
Gold filled jewelry is much higher quality, and will last much longer.
What about gold vermeil?
Gold vermeil jewelry's base metal is 925 silver, however, it's coating of real gold is half as thick as gold filled jewelry. This makes gold vermeil hypoalergenic, and higher quality than gold plated, yet more prone to tarnishing than gold filled jewelry.
Gold filled jewelry
Gold filled jewelry is resistant to tarnishing. Compared to solid gold, it’s also a far more affordable option with almost equal longevity.
Gold filled items will wear longer than gold plated and gold vermeil pieces, but still need some love as these items are not solid gold.
To clean gold filled pieces, use a mild jewelry cleaning solution, run under water, and pat dry.
Gold filled jewelry can still get dull and fade if there is heavy wear, constant perfume/hair chemicals, sea salt water or chlorine constantly getting on it.
So what’s the best?
Solid gold will always be of the highest quality, and will last a lifetime.
Gold filled jewelry is a close second, at a more reasonable price, and has very similar longevity.
Gold vermeil is great for people with allergies, but will tarnish.
Gold plated jewelry will tarnish very quickly, yet is very inexpensive.