With the ever growing popularity of demi-fine jewelry, gold-filled has been extremely popular for its long lasting quality. However, there has been confusion amongst consumers on what gold-fill actually is.
So, what is gold-filled?
Gold-filled is gold that has been bonded to a brass core with heat and pressure. It's constructed in two or three layers of gold on top of jewellers brass. Gold-filled is an American manufacturing process that has a legal standards of quality. The weight of gold in gold-filled jewelry must be 1/20 of gold to its total jewelry weight, meaning that there is 5% of 14 karat gold within your piece. Thats why you can see that your gold-filled pieces are stamped with "1/20 14K GF".
Many people confuse gold plated with gold-filled. Unlike gold-filled, gold plated is made by using thin layers of gold to plate base metal or sterling silver. Gold that is plated over sterling silver is called gold vermeil. Gold vermeil is a heavier form of gold plating. It will last much longer than regular gold plated pieces since it contains 2.5 microns of gold or higher. Gold that is plated over base metal contains 0.5 microns or 0.05% of gold and doesn't last as long as gold vermeil and gold-filled.
Gold-plated pieces are achieved through the process of elector-plating. It is the cheapest of the three forms of gold jewelry and the quickest to tarnish (solid karat gold, gold-filled and gold plated).
If you ever feel confused between gold-filled and gold plated remember:
- Gold-filled is created by using heat and pressure to bond the sheets of gold onto the brass core and contains 5% 14 karat gold.
- Gold plated uses the electro-plating method and only contains 0.05% gold. The thinner layer causes gold-plated jewelry to tarnish quicker.
How do I take care of my gold-filled jewelry?
Gold-filled jewelry can last as long as solid gold pieces if they taken care of properly. Here are a few tips to help maintain your gold-filled pieces
- Although gold-filled can get wet avoid prolonged exposure to water to preserve its shine and finishing.
- Avoid wearing gold-filled jewelry in the pool, saltwater and while using harsh cleaning chemicals.
- Ensure your pieces are fully dry before putting them away. Wipe off any oils and dirt and store away in the provided velvet bag and keep away from damp environments and direct sunlight.
- If oxidization does occur on your gold-filled pieces thoroughly wipe down your pieces with the provided polishing cloth to remove the oxidizations.
If your pieces are in a dire need of a deep clean you can wash your pieces with warm water. If that is not enough to remove the dirt use your fingers and a mild soap to clean your pieces. Be careful not to tug and pull on your pieces while cleaning them. Dry your pieces with a soft cloth and ensure they are fully dry before putting them away.
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