Gold Filled vs. Gold Plated

When it comes to jewellery and the materials it's made of there's a lot of info out there and it's easy to quickly become overwhelmed. 

In this article, you'll learn the differences between gold-filled jewellery and its gold-plated counterparts. Understanding these differences can help you make an informed decision when adding to your collection and ultimately, save you time and money. 

What is gold plated Jewellery?

Gold-plating is a thin layer of gold which is electroplated onto a base metal, such as brass or copper. This process involves using an electric current to bond a thin gold layer to the base metal, creating a gold-looking exterior.

gold plated jewellery is typically .5 - 2 microns (gold layer thickness)

What about Gold Vermeil?

Gold vermeil jewellery is still plated jewellery. The difference between Vermeil and Plated is Vermeil has a thicker layer of gold plating over a base of sterling silver.

To be classified as vermeil, the gold layer must be at least 2.5 microns thick.
This process results in a more durable gold-plating, but ultimately it will still wear away.

While gold-plated jewellery offers an affordable way to achieve the appearance of gold, the thin gold layer will wear off over time and if you wear your piece's daily, the layer will wear away quite quickly. This exposes the base metal underneath and if you have sensitive skin you'll likely have a negative reaction to it.

So, what is Gold Filled?

Gold-filled jewellery is created through a process of bonding, using heat and pressure. A thick layer of karat gold is bonded to a base, typically brass or sterling silver. Thanks to the differing process of bonding the gold, unlike plating, the outer layer on gold filled won't wear away. 
This layer of gold must be at least 5% of the total weight of the item.
Unlike gold plated jewellery, gold filled pieces are highly durable and resistant to tarnishing, making gold fill the ideal choice if you're after some daily wear gold jewellery to add to your collection that's affordable and sensitive skin friendly.


Here's a quick breakdown of the jewellery types


In depth; ~ the benefits of investing in Gold Filled pieces over Plated


  1. Superior Durability ~ Gold-filled jewellery boasts a significantly thicker layer of gold than gold-plated pieces, making it much more durable and long-lasting. This extra heavy layer of gold means the piece is tarnish resistant, can be worn daily, is water & shower safe and won't fade! 

    Unlike Gold-plated jewellery, which may require frequent re-plating, gold-filled pieces maintain their quality over time, making them a more reliable and cost-effective investment.

  2. Sensitive Skin Friendly ~ For individuals with sensitive skin the composition of jewellery materials is crucial. Gold-filled jewellery is a suitable choice as the process used in refining it means it retains the gold's hypoallergenic properties, reducing the risk of skin irritation or allergic reactions.

    In contrast, A major downside of plated jewellery is the base metals used, as soon as the gold wears away it can trigger adverse skin reactions, causing discomfort, irritation and other skin-based reactions. 


  3. Value ~ While gold-filled jewellery may initially appear to be a more significant financial investment than gold-plated pieces, its long-term value and durability make it a far more cost-effective option. 

    Let's girl math this with some education and financial savviness;
You buy a piece of jewellery and wear it for the average time it lasts.
We'll say 2 months for gold plated, and 5 years for gold filled.
gold plated jewellery cost $89 ~ daily wear 2 months
$89 ÷ 60 days of wear = $1.48

gold filled jewellery cost $150 ~ daily wear 5 years
$150 ÷ 1825 days of wear = $0.08c

Opting for gold-filled jewellery ensures you're getting your money's worth while treating yourself to some gorgeous jewellery.  Gold fill and solid gold are the best options for those with sensitive skin. Choosing gold-filled jewellery offers both quality and affordability, providing a wise and enduring investment.

At Jane Finch we only work with Sterling silver, Gold Filled and Solid Gold as longevity and quality are what we value.

I hope you find this guide simple to understand and helpful! If you have any feedback or questions, pop them below in a comment. 
- Steph x

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